Skip to main content

Full text of "SymonsWellcome1993"

See other formats






The Wellcome Building, 183 Euston Road. Erected in 1931—1932, to the design of 
Septimus Warwick, to house Sir Henry Wellcome's laboratories and museums 
including the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum and (from 1941) the 

Wellcome Historical Medical Library. From 1947 to 1989 the building contained 
the head offices of the Wellcome Foundation Ltd. Since 1992 it has been the head- 
quarters of the Wellcome Trust. 









THE LIBRARY 19 1 9-1925 16 


THE LIBRARY 1925-1 928 19 

NEW DEVELOPMENTS 1927-1928 20 



THE LIBRARY 1 928-1 932 *. 24 















Although the Wellcome Institute still awaits an in-depth study of its historical development, 
it is hoped that the superficial account presented here will at least set out the basic outline. I 
am indebted to Dr Edwin Clarke for the first suggestion that there was a gap to be filled, 
and, for subsequent encouragement, to Professor Rupert Hall, Dr Peter Williams, Professor 
Sir William Paton, Eric Freeman and Professor William Bynum. 

Present and former colleagues too numerous to mention individually have listened tolerantly, 
read successive drafts and made helpful suggestions. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the 
help of former staff of the Institute's predecessors, the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum 
and Library, who have supplied first-hand memories, both written and oral, from the 1920s 
onwards. Although little of this can be exhibited directly in the present publication, I can 
assure them that their time and trouble has not been wasted and that, thanks to them, the 
Wellcome Institute now has a valuable record of the atmosphere of its distant past and of the 
personalities involved. Among these, special thanks are due to Mary Cathcart Borer, the late 
Mrs Joan Braunholtz, Drs Barbara Duncum and Margaret Rowbottom, and the late John 
Thornton for repeated assistance on a variety of points. Dr Rowbottom read the entire text 
in draft and has saved me from a number of errors. Dr Duncum supplied the photograph of 
Alec Haggis and Mr Thornton photographs of the Library at Willesden. 

Information reaching back even further has also been generously provided by relatives of 
deceased members of staff Among these, for photographs reproduced here, I am grateful to 
Mrs Maude Appleby (nee Huck), Clifford Barnard, the Countess of Harrowby (nee 
Johnston-Saint), A R Hewitt, the late J K R Prideaux and A D Shirreff. Thanks are also due 
to Simon Cobley (George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd), Christine Bayliss (Hammersmith 
and Fulham Archives), M D Crane and R D Clark (City of Bristol Museum and Art 
Gallery) and to the Wellcome Institute Iconographic Collections. 

An earlier version of part of this text was read to the Museum Ethnographers' Group in 1985 
and published in its Newsletter in 1987. 

For typing of successive drafts, thanks are due to Sally Bragg, Vivien Wren, Tracy Tillotson 
and Jenni Crisp. The expertise of the Wellcome Centre Medical Photographic Library and 
the Wellcome Trust Publishing Department is also gratefully acknowledged. 

Finally, my wife Lenore has been a constant source of encouragement and advice throughout 
the book's prolonged gestation. 




The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine represents the library, teaching and 
research functions of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum created by Sir Henry 
Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936) during the last fort)' years of his life. It is owned and main- 
tained by the Wellcome Trust, the charitable body established under Wellcome's will. The 
Museum collections, although still the property of the Trust, are now physically and admin- 
istratively separate as the Wellcome Museum of the History of Medicine, a department of 
the Science Museum, South Kensington. Nevertheless the Museum and Library share a 
common history, in most of which the Museum was the dominant partner. 

No connected narrative history of the Institute has so far been published. Biographies of Sir 
Henry Wellcome and historians of the Wellcome Foundation Ltd have touched on aspects of 
the story. The fiftieth anniversary of Wellcome's death, in 1986, saw the publication of three 
important studies: A R Hall and B A Bembridge in their Physic and philanthropy, a history of 
the Wellcome Trust 1936—1986 dealt with events from 1936 onwards as they affected the 
Trust; Ghislaine Skinner provided an analysis of Wellcome's collecting policy in an article in 
Medical History ; and Georgina Russell, in a special supplement to the Museums Journal, 
described the long process of the dispersal of the 'non-medical' parts of Wellcome's 

What follows does not pretend to be a definitive history but is an attempt to set out the 
basic outline of the Institute's development, as a record which may provide a context for 
individual studies of specific topics and as a prelude to any future treatment in greater depth. 
It does not attempt to describe the collections themselves, other than in general terms. This 
is a topic covered by the other booklets in this series (see page 60), to which this account 
stands in counterpoint. 

Sir Henry Wellcome's life has been recorded in detail elsewhere. Born and brought up in the 
American Midwest in pioneering days, he trained as a pharmacist in Chicago and at the 
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and in 1880 came to London to join an American acquain- 
tance, Silas Mainville Burroughs, in setting up the pharmaceutical firm of Burroughs, Wellcome 
& Co., with its head office at Snow Hill Buildings, Holborn Viaduct. It may seem strange that 
two young Americans should see Europe rather than America as their land of opportunity, but 
this was an expansive time for the pharmaceutical industry generally: compressed tablets had only 

recently been invented and there were still 
no big manufacturing chemists in Great 
Britain, so that there was a field ready for 
exploitation. The firm was immediately suc- 
cessful and quickly became a manufacturing 
as well as a marketing business. Its first fac- 
tory was in Wandsworth but in 1889 opera- 
tions were moved to Dartford, which is still 
the firm's main production centre. The first 
overseas branch was opened in Australia in 1886. One incidental achievement was the coining of 
the word 'Tabloid', which was registered as a trade mark and is still recorded as such in the 
Oxford English Dictionary. Wellcome even won a victory in the courts in 1 903 to establish his 
proprietary rights in the word. 

The turning point for Wellcome came with the sudden death of Burroughs on 6 February 1895. 
Under the partnership agreement as it then stood (it was due to expire on 1 September that year), 
Wellcome was entitled to purchase his partner's interest in the company and to become sole pro- 
prietor, free to direct its development along his own lines. The most significant new departure 
was an emphasis on scientific research. On 14 February 1895, little more than a week after the 
death of Burroughs, he wrote to his college friend Dr Frederick Belding Power, a distinguished 
research chemist, offering to provide research facilities for him in London; this invitation led to 
the establishment in July 1896 of the Wellcome Chemical Research Laboratories^ with Power as 
Director. The Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories followed later as an expansion of a 
laboratory set up in 1894 for the production of diphtheria antitoxin.^ The first Director was Dr 
Walter Dowson. Both laboratories were, in theory, directly responsible to Wellcome, indepen- 
dent of the company and free to concentrate on pure research, without necessarily any direct 
commercial end product. In practice this independence was less than absolute, as both laborato- 
ries were administered through the company's head office and both carried out work relating to 
the company's products on request. 

It was also at this time that Wellcome began to develop his collecting interests. He had been 
buying books and objects since his student days but he now began to put these activities on an 
institutional basis, employing C J S Thompson as his principal agent. 

Thompson was a pharmacist by training, originally from Liverpool, but his real ambitions 
were literary and by the early 1890s he had written a number of pharmaceutical textbooks. In 
1 896 he was commissioned by Wellcome to carry out a research project on the history of animal 


Wellcome 's first curator: 
CJS Thorn pson 
Top Left: 

S?iow Hill Buildings, 
Holborn Viaduct. 
Headquarters of Burroughs 
Wellcome dr Co. and the 
first home of the Library. 


William Morris sale 
5-10 December 1898. 
Left: St Catherine of 
Siena, ' The orcharde of 
Syon,' 1519 (lot 919). 
Printed by Wynkyn de 
Worde, William Caxton's 
Right: Catalogtie. Page 91 
with Wellcome 's 
comments on this lot: 
'Superb must have 
ins pired Morris '. 

substances used in medicine and at the end of 1897 he began to collect books and manuscripts 
for Wellcome's library. In 1898 he became officially a company employee, initially for the two 
functions of collecting and of carrying out historical research which could be utilised for the 
firm's publicity. In due course he moved from Liverpool and became attached to the head office 
at Snow Hill as Librarian. 

At first, Thompson's collecting activities were concerned solely with library materials. His first 
recorded purchase was the late seventeenth-century medical receipt book of Lady Ayscough, 
acquired in December 1897. A year later, in December 1898, an opportunity came for a major 
acquisition with the sale of a large part of the library of William Morris. The whole collection had 
been purchased after Morris's death by the Manchester collector Richard Bennett, who, having 
• made his own selection, put most of the books on sale again through Sotheby's.-^ The library 

reflected Morris's interest in design, medievalism and early printing. About a third of the lots were 
bought for Wellcome, including the foundation of the Library's collection of incunabula (books 
printed before 1501). Although Bennett had retained the cream of the collection, he had an idio- 
syncratic aversion to large folios and Wellcome was thus able to acquire several fine examples, 
including copies of the Nuremberg Chronicle and Mer des Hystoires. Few of the books bought at this 
sale were of medical interest. Most of the early books seem to have been chosen not for their sub- 
ject matter but for their typographical interest and possible usefulness to the company for design 
purposes;"^ many were religious or legal and there were several illuminated manuscripts. Other sub- 
jects featured were the histor)' of printing, bibliographical reference works, technology, travel, his- 
tory, mytholog}' and Scandinavian sagas. Wellcome's aim at this time, so far as can be seen from 

. . :tte]IKllctiei9CDtttet>ne&tl)emiet3> 

his general purchasing policy, seems to have been a general reference library with medicine as an 
important constituent part. 

From this time onwards, books were bought regularly at the London sale-rooms and Thompson 
also made periodic collecting tours in the provinces and, occasionally, on the Continent. Wellcome 
himself normally visited the Continent every winter and brought consignments of books back 
with him from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere. One feature constant througliout 
Wellcome's collecting was the element of secrecy. He never allowed his name to be used in the 
sale-rooms and at the Morris sale all his purchases were made in the name of Wilton, which was 
always his favourite pseudonym. 

The beginning of a museum as well as a librarv' can be dated to about 1903. The firm was due to 
complete its first quarter-century in 1904 and Wellcome decided to mark this by holding a Historical 
Medical Exhibition in London. Thompson was entrusted with the coordination of arrangements: cir- 
culars soliciting material were sent out to the medical profession (especially to medical missionaries) 
and to the appropriate learned societies and institutions; the firm's representatives were also asked to 
look out for likely material. A certain element of inconsistency now became apparent in Wellcome's 
collecting: on the one hand he was sending out circulars mentioning his name and the name of the 
firm while on the other he was still insisting on a facade of secrecy. Thompson was by this time 
employing a number of assistants to travel on his behalf and to bid at sales in their own names, a ploy 
which lost much of its point as these supposedly nondescript men with large sums of money at their 
disposal soon became distinctive figures in the sale-rooms; Messrs Bourne and Stow, both employed 
at an early date, were still buying for Wellcome well into the 1930s. Thompson himself carried on a 
great deal of his correspondence in the name of Epworth & Co., rare book dealers, and this firm too 
carried on its shadowy existence until the 1 930s. (Epworth was a Thompson family name.) The emi- 
nent book dealer, Dr M L Ettinghausen, recorded that he was so intrigued by this firm with its seem- 
ingly omnivorous appetite that he actually tracked down its address in Newman Street, only to find 
an empty office used purely as an accommodation address. A clue to the firm's true identity was later 
provided when an unwanted item was sent back wrapped in Burroughs Wellcome paper.5 

Inconsistency was also apparent in the relationship with the commercial side. The circular sent 
out to the firm's representatives stated quite clearly: 'This exhibition will be held quite apart from 
the firm and is a personal matter of Mr Wellcome's. It will be of a strictly professional and scien- 
tific character and quite free from anything in the way of commercialism.''^ Nevertheless, the 
exhibition was planned to celebrate an era in the firm's history and the firm's resources were used 
for gathering material, so that, inevitably, it was widely believed that the collection was primarily 
intended as an advettisement. This became a recurrent problem. 


rtiyiuloiy. AiilhiDpdoey, Micioirapy. Biclnidsn. Bi-l«v mJ 
(onudcd with limQUi poiunlm ukl) 


Nunit..- .Rd Ar.i.u1>ou- 

Esdy ' .rd IrcRnl i»niii«. Iidml Ncnm AhUWc 
ipid^nicl. Anlii M lctdH( Uld bcalct. NavJ ■«] MilitMy 
mnnt ind unbiitHce tpfiluiic» ind (qniptmi. Pulfiib ol 
falann nunai- Rdiu md c^ii si uiemt aHKutcd widi niinn. 

ol pUu.,rtph. Onpnil fapcit and eiriy MSS. <m pK^omaph)'- 
AppScaiisn if phoioBniJiy » oi«Jidpt. Fjily X-w wumhi. 


AdukriM and FaUficalioa af ddaia. oadna*. hedanfa. 

The early circulars are interesting as guides to ^X'eI]come's concept of 
the exhibition. They mention curiosities of medicine, surgery and phar- 
macy, 'paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs, medallions and 
sculptures . . . materia medica of all ages . . . medicine chests . . . hospital 
equipment . . . surgical instruments'. ' Anthropologv' was always his pas- 
sion and he claimed that his interest in primitive peoples, and in the 
American Indians in particular, was first awakened when at ihe age of four 
he found a neolithic stone implement and his father explained to him that 
the perfecting of that implement was more important to its maker in con- 
temporary terms than the invention of the electric telegraph or the steam 
railway engine.^ In the early circulars this aspect does not figure espe- 
cially prominently, although there is a subsection calling for 'Votive 
offerings for health, antient [sic] and modern amulets. ..emblems, 
charms and talismans. Medical relics of savage and primitive peoples','^ 

Above: Page 4 from the 
first circular fi»- the 
Historical Medical 
Exhibition. [1904?] 

Right: Syrie Wellcome 
(afterwards Maugham) 
(1879-1955). D,jpoint 

and a specially worded circular was sent out to medical missionaries. 

The work of collecting quickly developed a momentum of its own and the 1904 target date 
was soon abandoned. Wellcome certainly realised that he had embarked on a project of much 
wider significance than he had originally supposed, but his ultimate intention is difficult to estab- 
lish. One of his favourite business mottoes is said to have been 'Never tell anyone what you pro- 
pose to do until you've done it'.*^ What does seem certain is that he envisaged a general museum 
of the human race of which medicine formed the central core."^ 

One side-effect of this collecting activity was the break-up of Wellcome's marriage in 1909. He 
had married Syrie Barnardo, daughter of the philanthropist Dr Thomas Barnardo, in 1901. She was 
27 years his junior with a strong personality of her own and the relationship was probably always 
precarious, but one of the contributor}' factors was certainly her dislike of the amount of time devot- 
ed to collecting when they were on their continental travels. They were eventually divorced in 1916, 
with Wellcome retaining custody of their son Mounteney. Syrie experienced a second disastrous 
marriage to Somerset Maugham and finally made a career for herself as an 
interior decorator.' ' 

Wellcome's reaction was to bury himself in his work. Hitherto, he had 
led an active social life and had been a prominent member of the 
American communit)' in London, but henceforward he tended to devote 
himself to his professional and philanthropic activities. He did not 
become a recluse; he maintained his membership of various societies and 
attended their meetings and public fanctions but he had few close per- 
sonal relationships and the sense of withdrawal increased as he grew older. 


The collecting of historical material was principally in Thompson's hands and his reports to 
Wellcome provide a detailed record of his work, though not, unfortunately, a complete one. These 
reports were only required when Wellcome was abroad, so that for these periods a fiili record exists, 
often with several reports a week, going into exhaustive detail and requesting decisions on the most 
trivial matters. There is no comparable continuous written record for the periods when Wellcome 
was in London, although obviously it was then that many important decisions were taken. 

Material was acquired at auction sales, both in London and in the provinces. Advertisements 
were placed in the newspapers, Bazaar, Exchange and Mart and similar publications, always 
anonymously, and the circulars issued attracted a good response. Thompson and his assistants 
continued with their collecting tours, both at home and on the Continent, where agents were 
retained in various cities. There was, however, no indication of when or where the collection 
would eventually be displayed and for several years the material accumulated in warehouses in dif- 
ferent parts of London. It was a characteristic of Wellcome's operations that more money was 
spent on acquisitions than on dealing with the material once it had been acquired. If the existing 
stores became full it was a simple matter to rent another. 

Apart from his collecting work, Thompson was still responsible for providing a library service 
at Snow Hill (the routine work was delegated to a graduate assistant) and for research work for 
the publicity department. The firm produced a number of booklets for issue at medical confer- 
ences in which publicity for the firm's products was accompanied by a historical essay, often on a 
topic related to the venue or the subject of the conference. Examples include Oxford medical lore 
(1904), From ergot to 'Ernutin' (1908), Anglo-Saxon leechcrafi (1912) and The history of inocula- 
tion and vaccination (1913). The text for these was largely Thompson's work, although others 
may have contributed to the research. 

Wellcome's other principal assistant in collecting for the Historical Medical Exhibition at this 
early period was Dr Louis Westenra Sambon, a flamboyant and cosmopolitan figure, by profes- 
sion a specialist in tropical diseases and lecturer at the London School of Tropical Medicine. A 
collector in his own right, he had been commissioned by the Italian Government to organise a 
historical exhibition for the 11th International Congress of Medicine held in Rome in 1894. He 
was intermittently employed by Wellcome from 1903 onwards for work with the historical 
material, particularly for research in France and Italy. It is apparent that initially there was some 
friction over his subordination to Thompson. 

A relative of Dr Sambon's, Arthur Amoruso, joined the staff in 1910 as a general assistant to 
Thompson, whom he accompanied as interpreter on his foreign travels. Another assistant, who was to 
have a significant influence on the development of the collections, was Dr Paira Mall. An Indian by 
birth but trained in medicine in Europe, he joined the staff in 1910 as a specialist in oriental languages. 
He was at first employed on research in London but in 1911 was sent to India as a collecting agent. 

Louis Westenra Sambon 

Paira Mall 


A few words should be said at this point about Wellcome's work in the Sudan, which ran concur- 
rently with his collecting activity. A visit to the country in 1901 had led to the foundation in 
1903 of the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories at the Gordon Memorial College, 

Khartoum, which, under the direction of Dr Andrew Balfour, did outstanding work towards the 
eradication of malaria. This was followed by Wellcome's archaeological enterprise, undertaken for 
the philanthropic motive of providing useful paid employment for the local population. This 
work has been described in detail elsewhere; here it is sufficient to say that he secured an archaeo- 
logical concession over a wide area of the southern Sudan and for four seasons from 1910 to 
1914 personally supervised the excavation of a primitive settlement at Jebel Moya near Sennar. 
He employed a large European team and, by the final season, 3000 local labourers. Much of the 
administrative work in London was handled by Thompson. The vast quantity of artefacts and 
human remains was shipped to London to await publication. Strictly speaking it did not form 
part of the historical medical collection and was intended for eventual distribution to appropriate 
museums in consultation with the Sudan Government, but for the time being it was stored with 
the other material. 

The First World War brought the Jebel Moya excavations to an end, although Wellcome never 
relinquished his archaeological concession and always regarded the work as merely suspended. The 

The Jebel Moya 
1913-14 season. 


excavated material remained in store with publication indefinitely postponed. A token presence 
was retained at Jebel Moya in the person of Major J S Uribe, who had been on the staff in the last 
three seasons and was sent out every year as 'Camp Commandant' to spend the winter at the site, 
living in Weiicome's monumental 'House of Boulders'.'- 


It was early in 1910 that a definite opening date for the exhibition was set. The 17th International 
Congress of Medicine was due to be held in London in the summer of 1913 and Thompson 
realised that this would be an ideal opportunity for Wellcome to put his collection on display. In 
due course, once the decision had been announced, Wellcome was approached by the congress 
organisers and invited to make his museum the official museum of the congress. In July 1912 the 
title Historical Medical Museum officially replaced that of Historical Medical Exhibition.'^ 

54a Wiginore Street, 
home of the Wellcome 
Historical Medical 
Museum 1911-1932. 

The Museum was established early in 1911 
at 54a Wigmore Street, in the heart of the 
medical district of the West End, although, 
unfortunately, it was decided that the adjacent 
premises at no. 54 should be used for a West 
End showroom for the firm's products. Wellcome 
insisted that the Museum and showroom were 
completely separate and their staffs were dis- 
couraged from associating,''^ but this distinc- 
tion was not readily apparent to an outside 
observer and the juxtaposition seemed to con- 
firm the belief that the Museum existed to 
serve the firm's publicity. 

The move to Wigmore Street and the concentration on the arrangement of the display there 
did not affect the work of acquisition, which carried on unabated. Two notable purchases in 
1911 were a collection of memorabilia relating to Edward Jenner, originally assembled by F J 
Moclder, a Gloucestershire bank manager, and the major part of the library of Dr J F Payne, pur- 
chased en bloc at Sotheby's. Payne was a notable medical historian of the time and former 
Harveian Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians of London. His library was rich in 
incunabula, early herbals and plague literature, and the acquisition of such a comprehensive 
working collection gave Wellcome's library a much improved coherence. Another remarkable 
achievement at this time was the rediscovery of Henry Hill Hickman (1800-1830) the 
Shropshire general practitioner whose pioneering experiments on surgical anaesthesia had left 
only tantalising traces in the published literature. Through diligent detective work, Thompson, 
with Amoruso's assistance, tracked down Hickman's original papers in the possession of his 
descendants, as well as the only known copy of his A letter on suspended animation, Ironbridge, 
1824, and was able to borrow them for the Museum with other memorabilia. 

The Wigmore Street premises still exist as John Bell & Croyden's pharmacy. Every inch of 
space was utilised and photographs of the displays show them as congested by present-day 


standards, although they were presumably acceptable at the time. The commercial showroom 
cook up most of the frontage on Wigmore Street, leaving only a narrow entrance passage which 
was filled with ethnographic material and named the Hall of Primitive Medicine. Behind this 
were the main display galleries. 

The most impressive room of the Museum was the galleried Hall of Statuary. Around this 
room there were statues of medical deities from various cultures, most of them casts or copies 
rather than originals. In the centre was a model of a Greek temple, which was filled with votive 
offerings; there were more amulets in cases, as well as surgical instruments, reproductions of illus- 
trations from medical manuscripts and a specially commissioned series of paintings of great 
moments in medicine, many by Ernest Board (1877—1934), an artist specialising in this genre. 
The other ground-floor rooms were the Gallery ot Pictures, which as well as paintings included 

special displays of the Jenner and Hickman material, and another room containing material from • 
the Library. 

Beyond this there was the basement. (The published guides always describe the basement as 
the ground floor and the ground floor as the first floor.''') Here there were sections on individual 
subjects such as chemistry, pharmacy, obstetrics and nursing, and a number of period rooms: 
there were a chapel of votive tablets, an alchemist's laboratory and a seventeenth-century apothe- 
cary's shop. Parts of this section seem to have had rather a flavour of Madame Tussaud's and 

The Hall ofStatuaij, 



The Gallery of Pictures, 

Recomtrtution of 

barber-surgeon's simp. 

there was a definite tendency towards ghoulish sensationalism with the 
displays of instruments of torture and appliances for the restraint of the 
insane. There was, however, a great deal of noteworthy material, such as 
the facade and fittings of John Bell's pharmacy in Oxford Street, which 
Thompson had noticed in course of demolition. 

Altogether the Museum undoubtedly provided a very impressive dis- 
play. Not all the material was original. There were many reproductions 
and undoubtedly some fakes, especially among the paintings. Many 
exhibits were only on loan, although some of these were later purchased. 
There was also a certain amateurish and romantic aspect to parts of the display, for which 
Thompson must be held responsible. One of his proposals, rejected by Wellcome, was that the 
lady stewardesses should be dressed as nurses from different periods.'^ 

The Museum was open from June to October 1913, extending over a month on either side of 
the congress, and was a great success both with the congress delegates and with the medical pro- 
fession generally. It was not at this point open to the general public. In his speech at the opening 
ceremony Wellcome announced that he intended to establish a Bureau of Scientific Research in 
London, under the direction of Dr Balfour from the Khartoum Laboratories, and that the 
Museum was to remain as a permanent institution affiliated to the Bureau. It was thus firmly 
linked with his research interests rather than with the commercial company. 


At the end of October the Museum closed down for reorganisation and was reopened without 
ceremony the following May, now officially entitled the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum. 
Wellcome took the title of Director for himself and Thompson became Curator. Administratively 
the Museum was affiliated to the new Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research, as were the 
already existing Physiological and Chemical Research Laboratories and, from 1914, the Wellcome 
Museum of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (After the First World War this latter museum was 
expanded into a general teaching museum as the Wellcome Museum of Medical Science.) Dr 
Balfour, as Director-in-Chief, had overall authority but, as far as the Historical Museum was con- 
cerned, he was little more than a figurehead in view of Wellcome's rather anomalous position as 
the Museum's Director. Wellcome was in fact frequently absent, but he exercised constant super- 
vision by correspondence and maintained a degree of close personal involvement which he did 
not attempt with the other research departments. A further anomaly was that the Bureau and its 
dependencies continued to be administered through the Burroughs Wellcome head office. In fact, 
the Museum and its staff probably had more to do with Snow Hill than with the Bureau. 

Thompson was to be supported by a professional staff of four (Librarian, Secretary and two 
Museum Assistants), in addition to clerical, technical and manual staff. The Librarian, T W Huck, 
son of a railway signalman, had started his career at Darlington Public Library and had been since 
1907 Librarian to the Saffron Walden Literary and Scientific Institution; he had published several 
papers on historical and bibliographical topics and was one of the very few holders of the Fellowship 
of the Library Association by examination and thesis. The Secretary, F G ShirrefF, an Oxford gradu- 
ate, had been on the staff of the Bodleian Library and was active in social work in the East End of 
London as a member of the Toynbee Hall community. Apart from his administrative duties, he was 
expected to assist the Librarian and to deputise for him and for the Curator when necessary. The 
second Museum Assistant, in addition to Amoruso, was G R Carline, a member of a distinguished 
family of artists, who had trained in anthropology at Oxford. Together they formed a young and 
energetic team and were clearly much esteemed by Wellcome. Indispensable figures on the manual 
staff were the chief carpenter, Harry Port, and the cockney factotum, Harry Stow. 

The Museum was not in fact open all the year round, but was closed for cleaning for a month 
every spring and autumn. Admission was still in the first instance restricted to the medical and allied 
professions, but the lay public was no longer totally excluded. Organised groups were admitted by 
arrangement, often outside the normal opening hours, on Saturday afternoons or in the evenings; 
individuals required a letter of introduction from a medical practitioner (this also became the rule 
for the Wellcome Museum of Medical Science) and women were admitted only in the company of 
a medical man. Thompson was keen to deny charges of exclusivity'^ but the number of lay visitors 
never seems to have been large. 

The ' lost generation': 
Above: TWHjuk 
Below: F G Shirreff 


In addition to tiie Museum's permanent display, temporary exiiibitions were mounted from 
time to time, eitiier at tiie Museum itself or elsewhere in conjunction with the meetings of various 
societies. Thompson began to establish an academic profile for the Museum by publishing arti- 
cles in scholarly journals and he became an active member of the Royal Society of Medicine's 
Section of the History of Medicine. In January 1914 the Secretary of the Society, J Y W 
MacAlister, had offered a site adjacent to the Society's house at 1 Wimpole Street for the erection 
of a permanent building for the Museum. This proposal for a close association between the 
Society and the Museum came to nothing but relations remained cordial.^'* 

The Library remained closed to readers but was evidently accessible to the staff, who seem even 
to have had some borrowing rights. A very few eminent medical men were helped with specific 
queries. Most of Huck's time must have been taken up with accessioning and cataloguing; he 
drew up the outline of a classification scheme but did not progress far with detailed analysis. 
Book selection remained almost entirely in Thompson's hands. 

Whether Wellcome had any immediate plans for the expansion of the Museum is not clear. 
The Wigmore Street premises were already inadequate: display space was filled to capacity and 
there was very little working space for the staff and no possibility of exploiting the material still in 
store. Wellcome in later years regretted opening the Museum at this undeveloped stage^^ but on 
balance it was fortunate that his perfectionism was overcome and that the Museum was allowed 
an opportunity to develop an active role. If there were any plans for expansion, they were set aside 
after the outbreak of the First World War. 

The Museum did not, as has sometimes been suggested, close down for the duration of the war.22 
It remained open, acquisition work continued, and the staff pressed on with the registration of 
the objects on display. The personnel of all grades, both male and female, was, however, gradually 
depleted by the demands of war work. Thompson himself, on his own initiative, undertook the 
organisation of a convalescent hospital in Harrow, with Dr Sambon as one of the medical 
officers."^-* His professional team was dispersed, never to reassemble. Shirreff and Huck were 
both killed on the Western Front. Amoruso, serving in Italy, was able to act as the Museum's agent 
in off-duty moments but did not return to England. Carline, who was medically unfit for the 
forces, was the last to leave, joining the Civil Service in 1917; on his release he went to the Pitt 
Rivers Museum and ultimately became Curator of the Bankfield Museum, Halifax. 

Temporary staff filled the vacuum. The post of Secretary was kept filled but with a rapid 
turnover (one of the holders was Ronald Kidd, later the founder of the National Coimcil for 
Civil Liberties), and by 1917 it became necessary to appoint a woman. The wartime 
Museum Assistants also were all female. Half-hearted attempts were made to find a woman 


as temporary Librarian but in the end the work was left to the Secretary, whose time was 
already fully committed.-^ 

An unintended side-effect of the war was that Paira Mall remained in India and did not return 
until 1921. He thus spent ten years on extensive travels in northern India, including Kashmir, 
Ladakh and Nepal, assembling a vast quantin," of oriental manuscripts and artefacts, Sanskrit 
manuscripts forming the largest category. As a result the Library is now one of the countr\''s 
largest repositories of oriental material. 

After the war the Museum returned to normal and continued to operate as an active small 
museum. It was open during regular hours and from time to time special visits were arranged for 
interested societies. Queen Mary herself visited the Museum in Februar}' 1921 and subsequently 
presented objects. In 1922 the Museum was the headquarters for the 3rd International Congress 
of the History of Medicine and in the same year its academic function was strengthened by the 
initiation of a monograph series, Research Studies in Medical History/.^'' As far as the display was 
concerned, there was a little reorganisation — lor example a new section on the medicine of the 
Great War was incorporated — but there was little scope tor improvement with the restricted 
space. The main problem was the storage of reserve material. By this time there were four main 
stores in different parts of London: 76 Marj'lebone High Street; Sans Walk, Clerkenwell; 11a 
Bushey Hill Road, Peckham; 145 Crj'Stal Palace Road, East Dulwich. The Museum's workshops 
were in St John's Wood. In the early 1920s the stores became even further diversified by the addi- 
tion in 1921 of a disused stable at 8 Stratford Mews, close to the Museum, and in 1923 of another 
large store at Stanmore. 

No attempt was made to rebuild a professional team comparable to that which had existed 
before the war. A new Librarian was appointed and the post of Secretary again became a male 
preserve but, once the registration of the objects on display had been completed, the Museum 
Assistant grade was allowed to wither away. The last appointee, J W Sinel, a Jersey-born naturalist 
and archaeologist who had served at Jebel Moya, was declared redundant early in 1921. Dr 
Kathleen Lander serv'ed briefly as Assistant Curator from October 1922 to June 1923, but other- 
wise Thompson's only professional colleague for Museum work was now the Secretary. From 
1920 this was Captain Peter |ohnston-Saint, a Cambridge graduate who had served as a regular 
officer in the Indian Army and Royal Flying Corps. 

A notable post-war acquisition was the remainder of the Mockler collection of material relat- 
ing to Edward Jenner and vaccination, purchased at Sotheby's in November 1918. This section 
consisted mainly of printed books and manuscripts, including one of the original drafts of 
Jenner's Inquiry. 


Right: C C Barnard 
Below: WR B Prideaitx 

THE LIBRARY, 1919-1925 
The two immediate post-war Librarians were, for different reasons, able to achieve only limited 
success. Cyril Barnard, appointed at the beginning of 1919, was later to become the doyen of the 
UK medical library profession but was at this point aged 24 and only partly 
qualified. He was only allowed the title of Assistant Librarian. His princi- 
pal achievement was to expand Hock's outline classification into a 
workable scheme which was to serve the Library for many years. 
(Classification was later to become his absorbing interest and his name 
is now preserved by the Barnard Classification for Medical and 
Veterimry Libraries?^ In general he found his efforts to organise the 
Library frustrated by the demands of sale-room work"^^ and he 
resigned in February 1921 to become Librarian of the Tropical Diseases 
Library, which ultimately developed into the Library of the London 
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

In his place, W R B Prideaux, Librarian of the Reform Club, offered his services 
on a part-time basis and took up his duties in July. In the intervening period (during which care of 
the Library reverted to the Secretaiy) the Library was moved from 54a Wigmore Street to the new 
store in Stratford Mews, thus perhaps taking its first step to an existence independent of the 
Museimi. The idea of a part-time appointment seems hardly realistic but presumably a librarian of 
Prideaux's standing was regarded as a prize worth securing. He was an active member of 
the Librar)' Association (like Huck he had obtained his fellowship by examina- 
tion) and a Lecturer at the School of Librarianship at University College 
London. He had had medical librarj' experience at the Royal College of 
Physicians ol London and had assisted Sir William Osier in his researches 
on medical incunabula.-'' To supplement his own limited hours he was 
able in 1923-24 to obtain the services of one of his University College 
students, S A J Moorat, as a part-time tmpaid assistant and together they 
were able to make good progress with the cataloguing backlog. Two large 
collections processed at this time were the collection of the Paris pharmacist 
Louis Debacq (mainly of chemistr)' and pharmacy) acquired in 1919 and a large 
collection of medical duplicates discarded bv the Dutch Royal Library in 1923. 
Prideaux clearly felt frustrated by the situation but his attempts to secure a full-time contract for 
himself and an honorarium for Moorat were unsuccessfiil. 

During this period L^r Paira Mall worked intermittently at Stratford Mews on the cataloguing 
of the oriental acquisitions, but his efforts were hampered by recurrent ill-health and eventually 
his contract was allowed to lapse, althotigh it was never formally terminated. 


A NEW B E G 1 N X I N G 
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that in the vears immediatelv after the First World War little 
was done to develop the Museum beyond the basis established in 1913. Wellcome 
undoubtedly had other matters on his mind and it was not until 1925 that 1 
turned his attention to the historical collections. 

In the meantime (in response to pressure horn his advisers to reduce his 
tax liability) he had reorganised his financial affairs. At the beginning of 
1924 he brought all his business and research interests together into a single 
limited company, which he named the Wellcome Foundation Ltd. This 
unusual name for a commercial company has been a cause of confusion 
ever since. It is said that the name was adopted (in preference to Burroughs 
Wellcome Ltd) to placate the heads of the research laboratories, who objected 
to a name which would appear to identify them too closely with the commercia. 
business. Wellcome became Governing Director of the Foundation but his duties 
were largely delegated to the Deputy Governing Director, G E Pearson, General Manager of the 
company since 1905. Instead, Wellcome concentrated his energies on his historical collections 
and on his philanthropic projects. Much of his time was devoted to work on behalf of the 
Christian mission to the North American Indians established by William Duncan, originally at 
Metlakahtla in British Columbia and later at 'New Metlakahtla' in Alaska.-^ He also supported 
the medical missionary work of the Cook family in Uganda.^^ 

In August 1925 steps towards the expansion of the Museum and 
Library were initiated with the creation of two new senior posts of 
Conservator and Chief Librarian. The new Chief Librarian, 
C R Hewitt, who took up his duties in September, was well 
qualified to direct a growing library: after 20 years at the Royal 
College of Surgeons of England he had been Librarian to the 
Royal Society of Medicine from its foundation in 1907 until 
1919 and had then been appointed to develop a library service 
for the League of Red Cross Societies at Geneva. Since the demise 
of this project, which might have anticipated some of the functions of 
the World Health Organisation, in 1922, he had been unable to find a 
library post and had been employed on editorial work for Heinemanns the publishers. 

The Conservator, L W G Malcolm, an Australian by birth and an anthropologist by training, 
arrived from the Bristol Museum in October. His background is undoubtedly a clue to the direc- 
:ion in which Wellcome intended the Museum to develop. 1 hompson was 63 and it seems to 
have been expected that until his retirement he would concentrate on the medical material while 

Above: C R Hewitt 


Left: L W G Malcolm 



Malcolm worked on the anthropological and general collections.-^' This arrangement lasted for a 
little over a month and in early November Thompson was abruptly forced to resign. 

It is evident that Wellcome had for some time been dissatisified with various aspects of 
Thompson's work and, in particular, had come to feel that he was spending more time on 
research than on his curatorial duties. Although this was a situation of long standing it had never 
received Wellcome's formal approval. Wellcome finally brought matters to a head over the book 
Chronologia medica, published in 1923, on which Thompson had collaborated with the surgeon- 
historian Sir D'Arcy Power with a contract for royalties, although much of the work was done in 
Museum hours and the Museum's facilities were used for typing and photography. He had 
promised to regularise matters by assigning his royalties to the Museum but had so far failed to 
do so. It was typical of Wellcome's rigid standards that he never forgave Thompson even though 
the breach of contract was academic: no royalties had been paid. Superficial decencies were main- 
tained: Thompson received six months' salary and a pension,-^^ but no public acknowledgement 
of his long service to the Museum was ever made. The incident did some harm to Wellcome's 

reputation among the medical establishment. Power and Sir Arthur Keith (Conservator ot the 
Hunterian Museum of the Roval College of Surgeons) were both sympathetic to Thompson but 
were reluctant to antagonise Wellcome. -^-^ Keith did, however, arrange a part-time appointment 
for Thompson at the Roval College ot Surgeons as Curator of its historical collection. 

The Museum was closed tor refurbishment from December 1925 to May 1926 and a ceremo- 
nial reopening was held in October; Sir .Arthur Keith reluctantly agreed to deliver the main 


address. Wellcome himself was unable to be present but Dr C M Wenyon, Balfour's successor as 
Director-in-Chief, who represented him, stressed that the Museum under its new regime 'will 
form a starting-point for developments which will be continued along truly scientific lines'. ■^'^ 

The general plan was not very much changed. Some of the more sensational exhibits were 
modified and there was a general improvement in lighting and design. The section on the Great 
War was expanded. Arrangements for access were improved: the Museum was open all the year 
round and members of the public were admitted on written application to the Conservator. In 
general, the Museum continued as before, with an increase in special visits and evening receptions 
with refreshments at the Welbeck Palace Hotel, which was adjacent to the Museum with direct 
communication. In 1927 a special exhibition was held to commemorate the centenary of the 
birth of Lord Lister and attracted considerable favourable attention. 

Collecting continued on a scale greater than before with Johnston-Saint gradually taking over 
Thompson's role as principal collecting agent. Hitherto he had been generally restricted to 
administrative duties but under the new regime he began to assume wider responsibilities (he was 
still Malcolm's only professional assistant). In 1926 he was entrusted with the assembly of materi- 
al for the Lister exhibition and it was quickly realised that he had a flair for this kind of work. In 
the following year, therefore, he was sent on a collecting tour to France and Spain and the experi- 
ment proved successful enough to justify its repetition in 1928. 

THE LIBRARY 1 9 2 5 - 1 9 2 8 
Hewitt brought fresh energy to the organisation of the Library. In fairness to his predecessors, it 
should be emphasised that they were all able men and could have achieved more had they 
received the necessary resources. The first requirement was an adequate staff. A junior assistant 
was appointed in October 1925 and at the end of the year Prideaux left and his former student- 
assistant, Moorat, joined the staff as Assistant Librarian (later Sub-Librarian). An Oxford gradu- 
ate, he had come to library work at the age of 30, after war service and a period with the War 
Graves Commission; by temperament he was reserved and scholarly, and his cataloguing skills 
complemented Hewitt's abilities as an organiser. 

An opportunity for a major acquisition for the Library occurred in October 1926 with the sale 
of the Kurt Wolff collection of incunabula at Frankfurt-am-Main. Hewitt had by this time locat- 
ed over 400 incunabula in the Library (including 67 from the William Morris sale and 50 from 
J F Payne's library). He and Johnston-Saint attended the sale and were able to secure 1 17 of the 
824 lots, equivalent to the accessions from the Morris and Payne collections combined. 

In these years, good progress was made with the transformation of the collection of books into 
a working libraiy. The premises at 8 Stratford Mews were, however, grossly inadequate and the 
small staff could never keep pace with the constant stream of new acquisitions. 


Tlx" former Burndept 
factory, November 1972 
(sitice demolished). Part 
of the Hythe Road 
frontage, including the 
Libraty caretaker 's 
house behind which a 
gable-end of the 
Library is visible. 
(Hammersmith & 
Fulham Archives) 

NEW DEVELOPMENTS, 1 9 2 7 - 1 9 2 8 
On the surface, therefore, by 1927 the Museum was well established as an active and successful 
institution. There were, however, various problems. Little had been done to fulfil the promise of 
new developments made at the time of Malcolm's appointment. Display space was limited and 
there were neither the staff nor the facilities for work to be done on the material in store. The rate 
and volume of new acquisitions was again straining the Museum's storage capacity and it was 
necessary to take on an additional store at Weybridge. The Museum's public image still suffered 
from the juxtaposition of the commercial showrooms. The Library was inadequately accommo- 
dated and continued to be closed to readers, much to the displeasure of Dr Charles Singer, lectur- 
er in the history of medicine at University College London;^^ there was also friction between 
Hewitt and Malcolm over library policy.^'^ Malcolm himself was still without professional assis- 
tance apart from Johnston-Saint, who was frequently absent on collecting tours. 

Eventually steps were taken to deal with the most pressing of these difficulties. The storage 
problem was eased by the acquisition in 1927 of the former Burndept wireless factory on the 

Hythe Road industrial estate near Willesden 
Junction, a desolate area surrounded by facto- 
ries and railway lines. The new premises began 
to be occupied in March 1928 and most of the 
Museum's reserve material was concentrated 
there. All the outlying stores were cleared and 
disposed of except for those at Stanmore and 
Stratford Mews. Willesden now became the 
home of the Library, which gained increased space at the cost of becoming even more inaccessi- 
ble. Also in 1928 the commercial showroom was moved to nearby premises at 10 Henrietta Street 
(now Henrietta Place), allowing the Museum to expand into the whole of the Wigmore Street 
site with Stratford Mews as a useful annexe a few minutes' walk away. 

The pivotal figure in these developments was Harry Port, appointed Superintendent of Stores 
and Works in 1926, having been the museum's chief carpenter since 19n. He headed a staff of 
about 30, including carpenters and restorers, and was responsible for collecting material from the 
sale-rooms - often as many as 60 sales a month - finding space for it at Willesden and producing 
it if required. He had a clerical staff for accessioning material at the stores and organised all trans- 
port and maintenance work for the Museum and the mounting of exhibitions. His responsibili- 
ties also included the care of Wellcome's house in Gloucester Gate where he was often kept at 
work until late at night. 

At the same time the professional staff was enlarged out of all recognition. In May 1928 a pro- 
fessional artist, D Pender Davidson, was appointed to take charge of the prints and paintings, 


which had previously been divided between the Library and Museum, respectively. His depart- 
ment was located at Willesden. In October A L Dean, formerly Secretary to the Wellcome 
Bureau of Scientific Research, became Secretary to the Museum and Johnston-Saint was relieved 
of his administrative duties to become 'Foreign Secretary'. Shortly afterwards a 'scientific staff 
of seven was established, most of them young graduates in archaeology or anthropology. Two 
who were to spend the rest of their working lives with the Museum were the prehistoric archae- 
ologist A D Lacaille and the anthropologist Sona Rosa Burstein. The Library staff was also 
increased, gaining two qualified assistants in addition to Hewitt and Moorat. 

It must be admitted that this rapid expansion of the Museum staff was a little premature. 
Malcolm had envisaged a structured training programme for the new assistants but this did 
not materialise and in fact they could not really be used effectively as long as the Museum 
remained at Wigmore Street. Working space there was inadequate and it was soon found that 
Willesden was not a practicable alternative.^^ Scholarly work was difficult without access to the 
Library and, since Thompson's departure, research and publication had generally been discour- 

In December 1928 Wellcome was called to give evidence before the Royal Commission on 
National Museums and Galleries.'^' The Commission was primarily interested in his views 
on proposals for the establishment of a National Ethnographic Museum and much of the 
discussion was concerned with general anthropological matters and with Wellcome's work in 
the Sudan. The published minutes of evi- 
dence are, however, valuable as representing 
the clearest exposition of his views on the 
past and future developments of the Museum. 
He stressed his conception of the history of 
medicine as essentially a branch of anthro- 
pology and emphasised that the display exist- 
ing at Wigmore Street was only intended as 
an interim measure. Its development had been 
held back by the lack of suitable premises and 
by the loss of many of his staff in the war. 
He recognised that a building four or five times 
larger than 54 Wigmore Street was urgently 
required but saw this also as a temporary expe- 
dient to allow for the planning of even larger 
premises as the Museum's ultimate home. 


Whatever Wellcomc's view on the ideal time-scale for the future planning of the Museum and 
Library may have been, his hand was shortly to be forced by circumstances. The lease on the 
Wigmore Street premises was due to expire at the end of 1931 and a new site would have to be 
found in any case; the search seems to have begun late in 1929. Bloomsbury was favoured, per- 
haps because of its nearness to the British Museum, but the area was under pressure from the 
expanding University of London and eventually Wellcome settled on a site at 183-193 Euston 
Road which was already in his possession, housing the Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research 
and the Wellcome Museum of Medical Science. Bounded on three sides by the Euston Road, 
Gordon Street and Gower Place, the site was cleared during 1930 in preparation for the erection 
of the new building. 

Meanwhile the Museum continued with its work at Wigmore Street. The removal of the 
showroom had made some rearrangement possible on the ground floor. Special receptions and 
other functions continued to foster the Museum's public profile and in 1930 two major special 
exhibitions were mounted: one in April, in conjunction with the Section of Anaesthetics of the 
Royal Society of Medicine, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Henry Hill Hickman; 
the second in December as part of the international celebration of the tercentenary of the 
European use of cinchona. A valuable recruit to the staff at this time was A W J Haggis, who had 
recently joined the publicity department of the Wellcome Foundation after long service with 
Batsfords the publishers; he was seconded to the Museum to assist with the cinchona exhibition 
and remained there afterwards. He was a skilled and experienced researcher, with a particular 
interest in the medieval period, and was used as a researcher for special projects. Following his 
work on cinchona he travelled the country to photograph the remains of monastic infirmaries and 
church carvings of medical interest; later he made a systematic search in record offices for material 
on episcopal medical licensing. Malcolm also was active in research, which culminated in 1933 
with the award of a Cambridge PhD for his thesis Medical museums: an historical and bibliograph- 
ical study. '^^ 

In his new role of Foreign Secretary, Johnston-Saint became a full-time roving ambassador for the 
Museum. He was unquestionably a man of the world, an enthusiastic motorist, traveller and lin- 
guist with a wide circle of acquaintances. It was to his advantage that he always maintained a 

good rapport with Wellcome. As well as collecting, he represented the Museum at international 
conferences and developed contacts with allied institutions and individuals. His reports deserve a 
place in the annals of inter-war travel literature. Far from being a dry list of objects acquired, they 
are full of local colour. He was careful to record popular medical customs and beliefs in the areas 


T«.tKB -r* r-nf* 
it upfr m -*v«f 

visited, and also described iiistoric piiarmacies and hospitals. Most of his time was spent in 
France, Spain and Italy but over the years he travelled all round the Mediterranean and Middle 
East and even to Persia and India. He was able to make contacts at the highest level, obtaining 
audiences with the Pope and the Viceroy of India, and establishing a good relationship with the 
King and Queen of Spain. (By a fortunate chance, he had met the Queen, then Princess Ena of 
Battenberg, at Balmoral when they were both children.'^-^) He was thus able to obtain original 
specimens of cinchona and examples of the medical equipment of the Spanish Royal Family. 

At the other end of the scale, much of his time was spent foraging in junk shops and markets 
with good results. Charms and amulets were acquired in the bazaars of Tunis, Damascus and 
Istanbul. He visited Egypt several times and was allowed to make copies of reliefs of medical 

A major project in which he was engaged was a systematic search for memorabilia of French 
scientists and medical men by approaching their families. This brought rich dividends in the form 
of apparatus, portraits, manuscripts and printed material, and so much impressed the French 
government that both Wellcome and Johnston-Saint were appointed to the Legion d'Honneur. 
Another distinction of some rarity, which they both received, was the Spanish Orden de la 

A recurrent problem throughout Johnston-Saint's travels was the widespread belief that the 
Museum was part of the company's publicity. At conferences he often had difficulty in gaining 
acceptance as an academic delegate rather than as a commercial representative. It must, however. 

Caricatures by 'Poll, 
the ivell'knoivn car- 
toonist of Shepheard's 
Hotel, Cairo ', Aswan, 
Febriia7y 1932. 
Left: 'Peter Johnston - 
Saint tries to find some- 
thing which is not in 
the books'. 

Right: Clare Jolmston- 
Saint 'My poor husband 
has run out of books. 
I must hurry and give 
him these'. 
(The Countess of 


be admitted that he seems to have seen no inconsistency in himself enhsting the help of the local 
Burroughs Wellcome representatives when necessary. 

Johnston-Saint was by no means the only person who collected abroad for Wellcome at this 
time. Among those particulariy concerned with ethnographic material were Miss Phyllis Kemp, 
who made a collecting tour in the Balkans, and Miss Winifred Blackman, who spent several years 
collecting material relating to the fellahin of Egypt. Dr M D W Jeffreys collected material in 
Nigeria and an artist, W Langdon Kihn, was commissioned to paint portraits of American 
Indians. Miss Catherine Georgievsky, a member of the Museum's scientific staff, made several 
sucessful tours in Czechoslovakia, and other agents were employed- elsewhere. 

THE LIBRARY 1 9 2 8- 1 9 3 2 
The move to Wiilesden in 1928 gave the Library more spacious premises which, if they left some- 
thing to be desired, were at least structurally an improvement on Stratford Mews. Even the physi- 
cal isolation and depressing environment seem to have had the advantage of strengthening the 
esprit de corps of the staff and a steady routine of work was established. Consignments of books 
were unpacked by the library assistants (usually several years after receipt), accessioned, roughly 
catalogued ('carded') and sorted by subjects. Detailed cataloguing and classification to a high bib- 
liographical standard was carried out at a later stage by the Librarian and Sub-Librarian, who also 
dealt with the more important acquisitions in the first instance. Acquisitions work provided prac- 
tically the only relief: the assistants attended the London auction rooms and both Hewitt and 

Moorat were from time to time sent to inspect 
collections on the Continent. There was a 
steady turnover at the assistant level but a high 
standard was maintained and all those who 
served at Wiilesden went on to distinguished 
professional careers, usually in the medical 
library field. 

Although no readers were admitted, postal 
enquiries were dealt with as far as possible and 
a limited service was provided for the Museum 
staff; they had no access to the shelves or to the 
catalogues, but books were sent up to Wigmore 
Street on request. Books and manuscripts were 
also included in the Museum's displays. 

Two important large collections were 
acquired in 1930. A rationalisation of the 


medical libraries of Manchester under the auspices of the universirv' led to the sale en bloc some 
8000 duplicate books and journals. Many of the books were obstetrical and had belonged to 
prominent Manchester obstetricians, but the runs of journals were probably the most valuable 
addition, as this was an area in which the Library had hitherto been weak. The other major 
purchase was a substantial part of the library of the historian Dr Ernst Darmstaedter of Munich. 
This collection greatly strengthened the Library's holdings in alchemy and early chemistry. 

Hewitt was taken ill with cancer in August 1930 and died a year later without returning to 
duty, although recovery had several times seemed to be in prospect. Prideaux applied for the 
vacancy, but it was felt that Moorat's long period in effective charge during Hewitt's illness could 
not be overlooked, and he was confirmed in office as Chief Librarian at the beginning of 1932. 
The senior assistant, S B Gardner, became Sub-Librarian. Both men were excellent cataloguers 
and reference librarians and were well qualified for the limited role of the Library as it then stood. 
The appointments were less auspicious for its long-term development, since neither was a natural 
leader. Moorat was by temperament something of a recluse and not easily approachable (though 
he was prepared to fight hard in defence of the rights of the Library and its staff) and Gardner 
was physically handicapped by a spinal condition. 

Wellcome's policy of keeping the Library closed was clearly frustrating for the Museum staff, 
but it seems to have been not entirely uncongenial to Moorat, who resented the subordination of 
die Library to the Museum and had ambitions for independent status. He may well have seen a 
political advantage in the Library's isolation. 

Wellcome's new building on the Huston Road site was completed in 12 months between March 
1931 and March 1932. Septimus Warwick, the architect, had specialised in town halls and public 
buildings both in England and Canada and had recently been employed on the remodelling of 
the Union Club in Trafalgar Square for Canada House. He designed an imposing building in a 
conventional neoclassical style, though with some modernistic internal features. 

The building was formally inaugurated on 25 November 1 93 1 when the cornerstone was laid 
by Lord Moynihan, President of the Royal College of Surgeons. It was named the Wellcome 
Research Institution and was intended as a headquarters for all Wellcome's research interests. (In 
1955 it was renamed the Wellcome Building and, on the grounds of familiarity, this name will be 
used here.) The Wellcome Museum of Medical Science occupied the ground floor, with the 
offices of the Director-in-Chief; there were laboratories on the top floors and in between the 
Historical Museum was to have the first, second and third floors with four large galleries on each 
floor. The apple of Wellcome's eye was the galleried Hall of Statuary spanning the second and 
third floors, designed as an enlarged version of the Hall of Statuary at 54 Wigmore Street. There 


was no room in the building for tiie Library, wiiich remained in purdah at Willesden, but 
Wellcome seems to have hoped that eventually he might be able to acquire the adjoining Unit)' 
House, headquarters of the National Union of Railwaymen, and extend the building westwards. 
The building was deliberately left unfinished on that side. The other major absentee was the 
Physiological Research Laboratories, for which a central London site was inappropriate. These 
had been located at Beckenham since 1922, 

Perhaps it was the publicity surrounding the erection of this building which finally brought 
public recognition to Wellcome as a patron of scientific research, for it was in 1932 that he was 
knighted and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College 
of Surgeons of England. 

He was now nearly 80 but for the moment he seemed to have no loss of energy and continued 
to embark on new projects and to make ambitious plans for the future. He returned to his interest 
in archaeology in 1 932 by joining in the financing of excavations at Tell ed Duweir in Palestine, 
site of the biblical Lachish. Wellcome never personally visited these excavations but he took a great 
interest and arranged for finds from the expedition to be exhibited in London, including the 
famous Lachish letters dating from the destruction of the city by the Babylonians in 587 BC. He 
also revived his interest in the company and took a leading part in the organisation of an exhibit 
for the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1 933-34, including the work of the research 
laboratories and museums. There were, however, signs that his ability to conceive new plans was 
outstripping his capacity to formulate and execute them in concrete terms. He is quoted as having 
said at this time 'My plans exist in my mind like a jigsaw puzzle and gradually I shall be able to 
piece it together';^^ his historical collections were to suffer from this lack of control. 

Wellcome Research 
Institution, Cornerstone 
gi Ceremony, 
25 November 1931. 
Left to Rigln: W Elliott 
(Trollope & Colls), 
G E Pearson 
(WelUome's deputy), 
Septimus Warwick. 


The Museum closed down in August 1932 and was moved to the new building. This should 
have marked the beginning of a new era with the Museum expanding to its full potential but, 
sadly, this never materialised. Wellcome decided that before the Museum could be reopened it 
should be completely reorganised and all the material which had been accumulating in store for 
years should at last be unpacked, sorted and properly registered, beginning with the ethnographic 
materials. He had every intention of supervising all these operations himself and Malcolm's 
attempt to arrange an ethnographic gallery on his own initiative was not well received.^^ 

The work proved protracted and, inevitably, staff morale deteriorated. There was no longer 
any contact with the public and the future seemed to offer nothing but an indefinite prospect of 
registration work, which was hampered by the continuing lack of direct access to the Library. The 
large, empty new building was a less congenial workplace than Wigmore Street and the staff 
found it difficult to adjust to sharing a building with other departments with which they had lit- 
tle in common. Several members of staff left and were not replaced.'^^ Pender Davidson died in 
November 1933. Wellcome himself was spending much of his time in America and in his 
absence Malcolm seemed unable to offer positive leadership; he eventually resigned in December 
1934 and found employment first as Organiser of Museum Activities with the Education 
Department of the London County Council and then as Curator of the Horniman Museum. 

Johnston-Saint was now appointed Conservator and under his leadership the Museum recov- 
ered a sense of purpose.^^ The work of registration was reorganised on more systematic lines, new 
staff were recruited, and a small, basic reference library was provided at Euston Road. A start was 
made on arranging the galleries. Johnston-Saint was anxious to set up a temporary general display 


for the public in the Hall of Statuary but Wellcome continued to insist that the Museum must 
remain totally closed until all the rearrangement was complete. The arrangement as it developed 
was reminiscent of Wigmore Street. The display began with cultural sequences on the third floor 
and part of the second, covering cosmogony, prehistory, primitive peoples, the classical era and 
the Egyptian, oriental and pre-Columbian civilisations. It then became subject-oriented with sec- 
tions on hygiene, religion and medicine, surgical instruments, anatomy and physiology, and phar- 
macy and materia medica. Johnston-Saint had found that the subject displays had been popular 
with visitors to Wigmore Street, but among his staff there was a feeling that the plan was confus- 
ing and that a chronological arrangement would be preferable. 

Although the Museum remained closed, except for the occasional favoured visitor allowed to 
inspect the work in progress, a vestigial public profile was maintained at exhibitions elsewhere. 
The Chicago Exposition of 1933—34 has been mentioned above and in 1935 Johnston-Saint 
mounted a display in Madrid for the 10th International Congress of the History of Medicine. 
This was accompanied by an illustrated booklet Spanish influence on the progress of medical science, 
with an account of the Wellcome Research Institution, issued in English, French, Spanish and 
Italian. A display was also planned for the Exposition Internationale de Paris in 1937. 

By this time Wellcome's health was at last beginning to fail. He was taken ill while in America 
in 1935 and spent a long period in the Mayo Clinic. By the summer of 1936 he had recovered 
sufficiently to return to England but died almost immediately after his arrival, on 26 July. When 
his will was publicised it was found that he had made imaginative plans for the future of his 
enterprises. Ownership of the Wellcome Foundation Ltd was to be vested in a board of Trustees, 
who were to distribute the firm's profits for the support of medical research and the history of 
medicine. Separate provision was made for Mounteney Wellcome, who spent the rest of his life 
farming in Buckinghamshire. 

The five original Trustees combined expertise in the worlds of business and science. The three 
business Trustees (G H Hudson Lyall and L C Bullock, solicitors, and Martin Price, accountant) 
were partners in the firms which had long been Wellcome's professional advisers. The scientific 
Trustees were Sir Henry Dale, Director of the National Institute for Medical Research, and 
Professor T R Elliott of University College Hospital. Dale, who had been Director of the 
Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories from 1906 to 1914, was the only Trustee with 
inside experience of the Wellcome organisation. 

After the resolution of certain legal difficulties the Trustees held their first formal meeting in 
Januar}' 1937. Hudson Lvall, the Chairman, was in poor health and died in May 1938. Dale, who 
succeeded him in the Chairmanship, was to dominate the work of the Trust for the next 30 years. 


The Trustees found themselves facing a formidable range of responsibilities. I'hey were the 
legal heirs to all Wellcome's enterprises, including the company, the research laboratories, the his- 
torical collections and the archaeological projects. The most immediate problem was that 
Wellcome had done nothing to minimise his liability for death duties and there was duty to be 
paid on all the firm's assets, including the Museum and Library. 

The archaeological enterprises were a relatively straightforward matter. There was no question 
of resuming work at Jebel Moya and the Trustees recruited staff to work on the publication of the 
results of the pre-war excavations. Material that had been moved from store to store for more 
than 20 years was at last unpacked and examined. The Trustees decided to continue to support 
the excavations at Lachish and to pay for their publication in due course'^** but this was a finite 
and limited commitment and they did not regard archaeology as forming a permanent part of 
their responsibilities. The Lachish excavations were brought to an end in 1938 by the murder by 
bandits of the director, J L Starkey. His assistant, Olga Tufnell, completed the final season's work 
and devoted the next 20 years to the work of publication. 

The Trustees did not wish be to involved in the running of the company except in their role of 
shareholders but, as the operation of the Trust depended on the company's profits, it was their 
duty to ensure that it was efficiently run. Under Wellcome's will his position as Governing 
Director had been inherited by G E Pearson, who was aged 68 and had been Wellcome's deputy 
since 1905. A staid Yorkshireman, over the years he had developed a cautious and conservative 
style of management, constrained in part by the need to maintain large cash reserves for 
Wellcome's collecting and other activities, and for at least a decade the company had been drift- 
ing into stagnation. There was only a rudimentary Board of Directors. The Trustees realised that 
changes were essential and were also concerned that Pearson's position as Governing Director 
gave him potentially autocratic powers over the research departments and the historical 
collections, as well as in commercial matters. For the time being, however, they could move only 
slowly and cautiously. 

The Historical Museum and Library presented a disconcerting prospect. Neither was provid- 
ing a service to the public. The Museum was in process of arrangement but the Library was still 
in need of a home in central London before readers could be admitted. Nominally the Museum 
was a museum of the history of medicine but in addition to medical objects there were large 
ethnographical, archaeological and oriental collections to say nothing of ship models, arms and 
armour, furniture and miscellaneous material. The contents of the Library were similarly diverse 
in subject matter. 

The first decision reached was that there was no possibility of developing the large general 
museum which Wellcome had apparently envisaged and that the Museum was to concentrate 
firmly on the history of medicine. Johnston-Saint and Moorat were instructed to identify 


5^4 J Moor at 
Chief Librarian 

irrelevant artefacts and library materials, and a series of sales was organised by Ilarrods and 
AUsops. Between December 1937 and July 1939 27 sales were held, including the disposal of 
furniture and effects from Wellcome's house. Smaller lots of material were sold through other 
auction houses and some objects were presented to appropriate museums. The reopening of 
the Museum remained indefinitely postponed, but the display promised for the Exposition 
Internationale de Paris in 1937 was allowed to proceed. 

The question of the future accommodation of the Library was left in abeyance. Professor 
Elliott's suggestion that the Hall of Statutary might be used was firmly rejected by Moorat, who 
argued that the room was only suitable as a 'Grand Central Reading and Students' Room' and 
that if, contrary to Wellcome's intention, the Library was to be fitted into the existing building it 
would require an entire floor. He recommended that it should remain at Willesden, where the 
work of cataloguing and of identifying material for disposal could be carried on without interrup- 
tion and might be completed in five years.'^''' 

The formulation of a policy for the development of the Museum and Library was a delicate 
matter. Dale and Elliott, as scientific Trustees, felt particularly responsible but were reluctant to act 
without expert advice. In any case they could not take any action which might seem to infringe 
Pearson's jurisdiction. They were aware of friction between Library and Museum and between 
Johnston-Saint and his scientific staff, but they felt unable to intervene. They were, however, able 
to liberalise the conditions of service, in particular the restriction on publication. 

In June 1938 a request by Elliott for information on the history of the Library gave Moorat 
an opportunity to set out his grievances in a strongly worded report. He recommended the sep- 
aration of the Library from the Museum, arguing (on dubious grounds) that Wellcome 
had intended the Library to serve all the research departments, not simply the Historical 
Museum. 50 He called for a separate budget, pointing out that Library expenditure was already 
recorded separately in the Museum's accounts, and urged that purchasing, which had practically 
ceased with Wellcome's death, should be resumed, with the Librarian having full responsibility 
for book selection. The salary scales for the Library staff had always, in his opinion, been dis- 
gracefully low and he drew the attention of the Trustees to the position of his senior assistant, 
F N L Poynter, who was overdue for promotion after eight years of service, during which he 
had studied for professional qualifications and a degree, so that he was 'except for length of 
service . . . actually more highly qualified in every respect than the present Sub-Librarian'. 5 ' 

The Trustees could find no evidence to justify altering the Library's subordination to the 
Museum, but they agreed that Librar)' purchasing should be resumed and that Moorat should be 
allowed a small budget of his own. Poynter was promoted to Sub-Librarian in August, remaining 
junior to Gardner. The Librar}' remained closed to readers. 

Development of the Museum and Librar}', therefore, was for the time being left to continue 


along existing lines and the new museum galleries gradually took shape. It the overall plan had its 
questionable aspects, the individual sections were under the care of competent scholars, rein- 
forced where necessar\' bv specialist consultants. The eminent pharmacologist Dr David Hooper 
had worked tor several years on the materia medica collection and the writer and artist Chiang 
Yee was recruited to arrange the section on Chinese Medicine. Refugees Irom Germany began to 
make their presence felt: Dr Richard Wal/.er began the sorting ol the Library's Arabic manuscripts 
and Dr Otto Samson, who was primarily employed on the Jebel Moya material, devoted part of 
his time to the Museum's Tibetan collections. By the outbreak of the Second World War in 
August 1 939 the arrangement of the second and third floors was well advanced and the first floor 
had been begun. The principal feature there was a street of pharmacies from various periods. 

Johnston-Saint was much occupied with the selection of material for sale and at the same time 
took the opportunity to organise a general clearance of the Willesden store. A vast quantity of 
miscellaneous rubbish was sent for scrap: the stones salvaged from the Lister Ward at Glasgow 
when it was demolished; three tons of old steel safe doors, worn-out lifting taclde and carpenter's 
tools; two tons of rotten wood; five tons of old photograph albums and waste paper. Two thou- 
sand paperback novels were sent to the Red Cross. The collections of arms and armour included 
old service rifles, which were offered to the Home Guard. 

Paradoxically, the coming of the Second World War was to provide the Trustees with expert 
advice on the future development of the historical collection. Among the Jewish scholars whose 
position under Nazi rule was causing concern was Professor Max Neuburger, founder of the 
Institut fiir Geschichte der Medizin at Vienna. Prompted by Charles Singer and Sir D'Arcy 
Power, the Trustees agreed to offer him a provisional appointment; he was thus able to secure a 
place on the last plane to leave Vienna before the outbreak of war and arrived in London on 26 
August 1939, practically destitute. The Trtistees at once commissioned him to assess the Library 
and Museum and he accordingly produced reports on both. His report on the Museum came 
down firmly in favour of a chronological arrangement. He found the contents of the Library 
bewilderingly eclectic; nevertheless he recommended that material should not be discarded with- 
out careful consideration and urged that priority should be given to the provision of an adequate 
reference collection. 

In 1 940 the other outstanding difficulties began to be resolved. The Trustees succeeded in 
outflanking Pearson by the appointment in May of T R G Bennett as Managing Director. 
Pearson continued as Chairman and Governing Director but retired at the end of the year. 
Bennett worked hard to revitalise the company and to develop a sense of common purpose 
among the various divisions. He proposed to the Trustees that the post of Director of the 


Left to right: 
Sir Henry Hallett Dale 
M ax Neuburger 
S H Daukes 
A W J Haggis 

Historical Museum, which had been in abeyance since Wellcome's death, should be revived, 
pointing out that this would provide useful employment for Dr S H Daukes, Director of the 
Wellcome Museum of Medical Science; his Museum had been dismantled on the outbreak of 
war, leaving him practically redundant, and Bennett was anxious not to lose his services to some 
other form of war work. As he was aged 6 1 his appointment would give the Trustees a useful 
breathing space to select a permanent Director, preferably medically qualified. 

Dr Daukes, who took up his new post at the beginning of 1941, was well suited to preside 
over a period of consolidation during wartime restrictions. Although not a historian, he was a 
medical man and had been involved in the techniques of museum display since 1919; as a senior 
and well-respected figure in the Wellcome organisation he was easily accepted by the staff and 
was able to provide a mediating influence in areas where friction had arisen. His main task was to 
prepare a plan for the reorganisation of the Museum on chronological lines. It was not expected 
that the plan could be implemented until aft:er the war; many of the staff had joined the forces 
and parts of the Building had been temporarily assigned to commercial departments. (This was 
increased after the destruction of the Snow Hill offices on the night of 10 May 1941, in the same 
air raid which destroyed the House of Commons.) 

Johnston-Saint continued as Conservator and executive head of the Museum. Neuburger 
ceased to be a consultant and was officially appointed to the staff in March 1941, and in August 
Haggis was promoted to Assistant Conservator; Moorat now reported directly to the Director 
rather than to the Conservator, and the Library thus took a step towards equality with the 
Museum. (The title Wellcome Historical Medical Library seems to have been adopted at about 
this time.^-^) The problem of the Library's accommodation was settled by the definite allocation of 
the Hall of Statuary; this monumental room, although much admired by Wellcome, had never fitted 
easily into the Museum's general scheme. The planning of the new Library seems to have been entirely 
delegated to Poynter and was suspended when he was conscripted into the Royal Air Force in 
September. Many books had by this time been transferred from Willesden, some to the strongrooms 
in the basement, others to the Hall of Statuary itself, where some were packed into cases and used 
as blast barriers against the windows. The new steel-framed building offered better security than 


the dilapidated premises at Willesden and survived the war with only minor bomb damage. 

In the Museum the war years were spent by the depleted staff in preparing plans for the new 
galleries. Under Daukes's plan, the sequence was to begin as before on the third floor with cos- 
mogony, evolution, prehistory and the medicine of primitive peoples and the Far East. The 
second floor was assigned to Egypt, the Ancient Near East, India, Persia, and the classical and 
medieval periods. Medicine from the Renaissance onwards was to be displayed on the first floor. 
Daukes also envisaged closer liaison with the Museum of Medical Science and the possibility of 
shared facilities and services. 

Haggis, who was now responsible for the 
medieval gallery, continued to be assigned to 
special projects; he was commissioned by the 
Trustees to write a memorial biography of 
Wellcome and produced an impressive type- 
script draft, which progressed no further; in 
1943—45 he was given leave of absence to 
study at Oxford and complete his research on 
episcopal medical licensing as a DPhil thesis. 

Moorat and Gardner remained at Willesden 
throughout the war, in conditions of increasing 
discomfort,53 continuing with the work of sort- 
ing and cataloguing and of identifying material 
for disposal. The massive clearance sales organ- 
ised by Allsops had come to an end and a slower 
and more judicious programme was operated, 
mostly through Hodgsons. In 1944 a collection 
of naval manuscripts was sold by private treaty 
10 the National Maritime Museum and in 1945 the main disposal programme was concluded with 
the sale of 40 000 printed books and 1250 manuscripts en blocio Dawsons — a transaction which 
became something of a legend with the firm and over the years grew in the telling. 5"^ 

The Medieval Gallery, 
arranged by A WJ Hag^ 
c. 1946. 


With the end of hostilities in sight it became possible to resume work on the arrangement of the 
Museum in the early summer of 1945, although it was to be many months before all the staff 
were released from the services. Plans were made for a temporary fitting-up of the Hall of 
Statuary for the Library, using the rough wooden shelving from Willesden. The main floor below 
the gallery was filled with massive book stacks and accommodation for readers was provided in 


the gallery with a motley collection ot furniture. The object was to get the Library into an opera- 
tional state, if possible, by the beginning of 1946 and to furnish it properly at a later date when 
materials became more readily available with the easing of wartime restrictions. Moorat, who 
regarded these makeshift arrangements as unsatisfactory and felt that he was not sufficiently con- 
sulted, gave only grudging cooperation.''^ 

Dr Daukes returned to his own Museum at the end of 1945 and Dr E Ashworth 
Underwood was chosen to succeed him as Director of the Historical Museum. His previous 
career had been in public health but he had long cultivated an interest in the history of medi- 
cine, encouraged by his future father-in-law, Charles Singer. Moorat took early retirement at 
the end of March 1946 (just short of his 54th birthday) to make way for the more dynamic 
and outgoing figure of W J Bishop, who had served with distinction at the Royal College of 
Physicians and Royal Society of Medicine. 

Bishop took up his duties in April 1946 and readers began to be admitted by arrangement;^*^ 
in view of its makeshift state, the Library was not yet formally declared open. A new sub-profes- 
sional grade of 'Library attendant' was instiaited and the anomalous position of the two Sub- 
Librarians was resolved by the designation of Poynter as Deput}' Librarian and Gardner as Chief 
Cataloguer. Moorat's services also were not to be lost to the Library: he was invited to devote his 
retirement to the compilation of a catalogue of the Library's Western manuscripts, a task which 
he had long been anxious to undertake. It proved more congenial than administration and was 
eventually to occupv him for longer than the period of his salaried service. 


Tlx Hall of Statuary as 
adapted for the Library. 
This photograph , taken 
in 1 960, shows the 
gallery refitted with 
tnetal shelving but the 
nmin floor still occupied 
by the temporaiy stacks 
installed in 1945- 

The Museum staff likewise pressed ahead with the arrangement of the new galleries. A weak- 
ness of Daukes's plan which now became apparent was that the first floor of the building, which 
he had assigned to the post-medieval period, was still occupied by the company, so that the 
Museum was left with an unbalanced and truncated display, which covered primitive man, the 
ancient world and non-Western cultures in great detail and stopped short at the Middle Ages. 
There was little that Underwood could do to remedy this. 

As a foretaste of the Museum's reopening, plans were made for a temporary exhibition in 
October 1946 to celebrate the centenary of the introduction of surgical anaesthesia. Haggis, who 
was to have arranged this exhibition, died suddenly in April and the task devolved upon Margaret 
Rpwbottom, a member of staff since 1933. Sadly, Haggis's death left his thesis on medical licens- 
ing uncompleted; like his life of Wellcome it remains as unpublished source material. 

The Willesden store was cleared during 1946 and its contents removed to a new store in 
Aldersgate Street. A large quantity of surplus ethnographic material had been removed in 1945 to 
the British Museum, where it was stored in the unfinished Duveen Gallery to await distribution 
to appropriate museums. 

The anaesthesia exhibition was duly opened by Lord and Lady Moran on 16 October, at a cer- 
emony held in conjunction with a meeting of the Section of Anaesthetics of the Royal Society of 
Medicine, but this was to be a false dawn, for the Board of the Wellcome Foundation was already 
exploring the possibility of evicting the Museum from the Wellcome Building. 

The destruction in 1941 of the head offices at Snow Hill had not been seen at the time as a 
serious setback: it was an old building on a restricted site and was already regarded as 
obsolescent. 57 Temporary offices were leased in Red Lion Square and some staff were accommo- 
dated at Euston Road and at Willesden. Plans were made for the erection after the war of a new 


Fabe dawn: 
Lady Moran cutting 
tlx tape for the 
anaesthesia exhibition, 
16 October 1946. 
To her left: Lord 
Moran and Dr 
Underwood (Times 
Newspapers Ltd). 

Wellcome ethnographic 
material in the Duveen 
Gallery, British Museum, 
February 1955- 
About one twelfth of the 
total is shown. 

building at 209—225 Euston Road, to the west of the Wellcome Building but separated from it by 
the offices of the National Union of Railwaymen. In the autumn of 1946 it was realised that 
under post-war restrictions this was not a practicable possibility in the short term. Meanwhile the 
Red Lion Square lease was running out and, as no alternative premises could be found, it was 
decided that the only feasible solution was the temporary removal of the Historical Museum and 
the conversion of its galleries into offices. The newly opened Library was allowed to remain, as 
were the Museum of Medical Science on the ground floor and the Laboratories of Tropical 
Medicine on the upper floors. The anaesthesia exhibition continued until the end of the year but 
with little publicity', as it was discovered that the building did not meet the local authority's 
requirements for a public building. Even so the exhibition received over 2000 visitors. 


The former Wellcome Research Institution now took on a new role as company headquarters, 
although it was not until 1955 that the old name gave way to 'The Wellcome Building'. Research 
retained a foothold in the Laboratories of Tropical Medicine until 1965, but the company's main 
effort in the UK was now concentrated at Beckenham. The medical historian J F Fulton, of Yale 
University, while accepting the eviction of the Museum as a necessary emergency measure, com- 
mented that 'Sir Henry Wellcome clearly did not erect his classic marble palace on Euston Road 
to be occupied by clerks and stenographers of his Company'. 5^ 

Instead of presiding over a grand rebirth for the Museum, Dr Underwood found that his 
directorship was to be a prolonged holding operation simply to keep the Museum in being. The 
company had initially proposed that, until space again became available at Euston Road, all the 
Museum's material should be placed in store with the possibility of limited access for research 
purposes. In this emergency the Trustees agreed to accept temporary financial responsibility for 
the Museum and to provide it with accommodation in central London. Underwood tried unsuc- 

Architect's perspective 
of the pro posed 
Wellcome Building at 
209-225 Euston Road, 


cessfully to persuade them to abandon the Wellcome Building entirely and to find alternative 
premises large enough for the Museum and Library to remain together. Instead in the summer of 
1947 a seven-year lease was taken on 28 Portman Square, an elegant but neglected Georgian 
town house. Here there was space for staff offices and for limited displays; an office was provided 
for Sir Henry Dale, so that the building was also to serve in a sense as the headquarters of the 
Wellcome Trust. 

During 1947, therefore, the work of dismantling the nearly completed Museum continued, 
most of the material being stored at the Wellcome Research Laboratories at Beckenham. At the 
same time 28 Portman Square was made ready for occupation. An attempt by Underwood to 
make Portman Square the headquarters of the Library as well as the Museum was quickly aban- 
doned. In spite of the disruption the Museum was able to maintain a limited public profile; an 
exhibition on the history of surgery was mounted at the Science Museum, South Kensington, 
from September 1947 to February 1948, its opening coinciding with the 12th Congress of the 
International Society of Surgery. It was not until late in 1948 that it became possible to admit vis- 
itors to Portman Square and, in view of the limited space available, it was decided to concentrate 



28 Portman Square: 

Entrance Hall, 
November 1954. 

W J Bishop 

on temporary exhibitions on specific subjects rather than a general display. The surgery exhibition 
and a new exhibition on the history of the microscope were the first of these. Both were opened 
on 14 December 1948. 

The restriction on the Museum's activities was inevitably accompanied by a substantial reduc- 
tion of staff, as far as possible by 'natural wastage' rather than redundancy. Johnston-Saint super- 
vised the dismantling of what he had come to regard as his life's work and retired in bitter disap- 
pointment at the end of 1947. Mr Port retired at the same time and in June 1948 Professor 
Neuburger departed to the USA. During his nine years with the Museum his presence had been a 
valuable influence on the work of his colleagues, and he himself had maintained a steady output 
of publications, all, as a matter of principle, written in English. 

Meawhile the financial state of the company was becoming increasingly precarious. Bennett's 
plans for revitalisation had been hampered by the difficulties of the war and by the restrictions of 
the immediate post-war period. A serious financial crisis developed and led to Bennett's enforced 
retirement in May 1 948. The company survived major surgery and went on to make a remark- 
able recovery in the 1950s but for the time being there was little money available for the historical 
collections, although the company was able to resume financial responsibility for the Museum in 
September 1950. The eventual improvement in the company's position meant that the Trustees 
at last began to receive a significant income in dividends, but the historical collections could 
derive litde benefit from this, since Wellcome's will had specified them as the responsibility of the 
company. The Trustees could intervene in an emergency, as they had done in 1946, and could 
assist with grants for special purposes, but it was felt that to do more than this would conflict 
with their charitable status. 


Following the financial crisis, the plans tor the refitting of the Library were indefinitely post- 
poned. Steps were taken to make the temporar}' fittings more presentable and in December, 1949 
the Library at last received its formal opening ceremony. 


The positions of the Library and Museum were thus effectively reversed. It was now the 
Library which occupied a prominent position in the public eye, while the Museum was relegated 
to a backwater. Both were inadequately accommodated and funded but, whereas the Museum had 
been cut back from a position of strength, the situation of the Library was at least an improvement 
on what had gone before and there was the capacity for substantial progress. The excitement of at 
last operating a working library helped to compensate for its physical deficiencies. Under the cir- 
cumstances it was not surprising that the prospect of the Museum and Library working as a single 
unit began to recede and they continued to a large extent to go their separate ways. 

The Library rapidly began to establish a 
clientele and a role under the enthusiastic lead- 
ership of Bishop and Poynter. Moorat pressed 
on with his examination of the manuscript 
volumes and in 1950-52 Sir Thomas Austin, a 
retired Indian civil servant, was employed part- 
time to organise the large collection of over 
1 00 000 autograph letters ('letters' and 'manu- 
scripts' had always been treated as distinct 
collections). It was decided that the catalogue of the early printed books (up to 1850) should be 
published as a means of publicising the Library's holdings and preparatory work for this began in 
1949. It was soon realised that the existing card catalogues required considerable revision and that 
there was a substantial backlog of uncatalogued material. The 1 948 crisis had reduced the profes- 
sional staff from four to Bishop and Poynter alone^' and from 1951 additional cataloguers began 
ro be recruited; these were at first seen as short-term appointments but in time they became the 
nucleus of a new professional team. While this work on the general catalogue proceeded, Poynter 
turned his attention to the incunabula, which constituted an accessible self-contained collection; 
his catalogue, which was published in 1954, contained descriptions of 610 complete items 
(including duplicates) and 22 fragments. This helped significantly to put the Library on the map. 

The elimination of unwanted material continued intermittently. In 1946 books were sold to 
the British Museum Library to replace volumes destroyed in the war, and in 1946 and 1948 
material was sold to Dawsons and other dealers. Finance was always a problem. Throughout the 
1950s the book-buying budget was inadequate and the Library relied heavily on gifts. Bishop and 

FN L Poynter 
Librarian 1954-1964, 
Director 1964-1973. 


Poynrer were active members of the newly formed Medical Section of the Library Association and 
in 1947 the Library became the headquarters of the Section's exchange scheme for the redistribu- 
tion of surplus books and journals. This was also a valuable source for acquisitions. 

Both Bishop and Poynter were active in research; their publications helped to foster the 
Library's scholarly reputation and their example was, in time, followed by their younger col- 
leagues. Bishop, however, became disillusioned by the constant financial and physical difficulties 
and resigned at the end of 1953 to take up a new career as a freelance writer and researcher. 
Among other projects he became founder-editor of Medical History, established in 1957 as the 
first UK scholarly journal devoted to the subject. 

Under Poynter, who now succeeded as Librarian, the Library's public profile continued to 
grow. Almost immediately after his appointment, work was started on Current Work in the 
History of Medicine, a quarterly bibliography of recent publications; the first issue appeared in July 
1 954 and was generally acclaimed. Current Work quickly established itself as a much-appreciated 
service and was for many years distributed free. In order to ensure coverage of medical journals, as 
well as the historical journals taken by the Library, arrangements were made for the staff to exam- 
ine the journals received at the British Medical Association for the preparation of Abstracts of 
World Medicine. The existence of Current Work stimulated the gift of authors' offprints to the 
Library. Work on the printed catalogue proceeded. The first volume was to cover books printed 
before 1641; by mid- 1953 all the books within this period had been located and catalogued and 
printing began in 1954. In the same year. Professor V Raghavan of the University of Madras 
examined the Sanskrit manuscripts and compiled a preliminary handlist. Poynter himself 
obtained a London University PhD in 1955 lor a bibliography of Gervase Markham. 

The elimination of non-medical material continued: a large collection of Medici family 
papers was presented to the British Museum in 1955 and in 1956 a collection relating to the 
Order of St John was presented to the Maltese National Archives. 

The Library was still making do with the makeshift fittings and furniture installed as a tempo- 
rary measure in 1945. In the autumn of 1955 adjustable metal shelving was at last installed in the 
gallery, although the unsighth' stacks continued to fill the main floor. Purpose-designed furniture 
was also purchased and the Library began to take on a more up-to-date appearance. 

While the Library was developing its services the Museum was forced to mark time awaiting 
the return of favourable conditions. Successful topical exhibitions were mounted and Underwood 
and his stall pursued their research interests, but there was no possibility of a comprehenrive dis- 
play of the artefacts and onlv limited opportunity for cataloguing. Storage conditions for the 
reserve material were never satisfactory. 

I he limitations on actual museum work encouraged the staff to pursue their own scholarly 
interests and to develop into an embrv'onic academic unit. Dr Underwood maintained a steady 


output of books and articles on a variety of topics. He had a foothold in the academic world as an 
honorary lecturer in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at University 
College London, with responsibility for teaching the history of the biological sciences, and was an 
active member of the British Society for the History of Science, which he served as President from 
1957 to 1962. In 1946 he had inherited a professional staff of 1 1 in the Museum, but by 1948 
this had been reduced to five (including the Secretaiy), and this was never exceeded. 

Miss Burstein, until her retirement in 1957, was able to make progress with the cataloguing 
of the ethnographic material and in 1952 she was responsible for a successful exhibition on The 
Medicine of the Aboriginal Peoples in the British Commomuealth. She also pursued her own 
interest in the study of old age and served as President of the Folklore Society in 1956-59. Her 
work with the ethnographic collections was continued from 1958 to 1963 by Dr K P 
Wachsmann, formerly Curator of the Uganda My^eum, Kampala, and subsequently Professor 
of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Northwestern 

Mr Lacaille continued to work on the prehistoric collections and travelled widely on field 
work. He was responsible for the exhibition Prehistoric Man in Health and Sickness in 1951 and 
his monumental The Stone Age in Scotland w^^as published by the Museum in 1954. After his 
retirement in 1959 his place as the Museum's archaeologist was taken by an Egyptologist, 
Dr D M Dixon. 

The prints constituted a more easily accessible collection than most, and C A Earnshaw, 
Pender Davidson's successor, was able to make good progress with the identification and sorting 
of the engraved portraits. 

Mr Dean continued as Secretary until his retirement in November 1954. After his retirement 
the Museum was for a decade without an administrator. He returned part-time from 1956 to 
1959 to sort and index the Museum's early archives to 1921. 

Dr C H Talbot, who joined the staff in September 1954, was a medievalist and more 
concerned with literary sources than museum objects. His major work was the compilation of 
a biographical dictionary of medieval English physicians. 

Miss Rowbottom inherited Haggis's role as Underwood's principal assistant and was generally 
responsible for all exhibitions which did not fall within the scope of one of her specialist col- 
leagues. She obtained a London University PhD in 1955 for research on Robert Boyle and later 
made medical electricity her main field of research. After Earnshaw's departure in 1957 the print 
room was added to her responsibilities. 

A new series of monograph publications was instituted in 1946 in succession to the pre-war 
Research Studies. The editorial work occupied much of Dr Underwood's time, and sometimes also 
that of other members of the staff, although the authors were mainly outsiders.*^" Scholarly 

E A Utiderwood 
Director 1946-1964. 

A L Dean 
Secretary 1928-1954. 


catalogues were published tor several ot the exhibitions and in general the Museum, through the 
work of its staff", achieved a solid academic standing. 

The dispersal of the ethnographic objects sent to the British Museum in 1945 continued 
throughout the 1950s, but no new disposal programmes were initiated. The Museum occupied a 
succession of inadequate stores at Aldersgate Street (1946 to 1950), at the Wellcome Laboratories 
at Beckenham (1947 to 1957) and at Boleyn Road, Dalston (1949 to 1957); it was not until 
1957 that it became possible to concentrate all the reserve collections at the company's Dartford 
Works. A store for the Library was added in 1958. These stores were divided among a scattered 
assortment of buildings, mostly old and dilapidated, but this was still an improvement on the pre- 
vious situation. 

Towards the end of 1954 the Museum was able to return to the Wellcome Building, but to 
much reduced space. Only half a floor (two galleries) was available, in contrast to the three whole 
floors allocated in 1932, and less than half of this could be used for display. The policy of tempo- 
rary topical exhibitions was therefore continued. The large entrance hall on the upper ground 
floor was used as an extra exhibition area from time to time and in 1959 five historic pharmacies 
were permanently erected there, providing a striking introduction to the Building and recalling 
Johnston-Saint's street of pharmacies. 

During their enforced separation the Museum and Library had developed their own roles and 
the return to proximity brought little change. Their visible public areas and their professional 
staffs were of similar size.^' The Library had the advantage of a spacious galleried hall (albeit 
overcrowded and shabbily furnished), whereas the Museum's large reserve collections were out of 
sight and thus out of mind. Although the Library was administratively subordinate to the 
Museum, this seemed difficult to justify in a situation where, to outward appearance, the 
Museum seemed more like the Library' s poor relation. In practice they tended to operate for most as separate units. 

The financial difficulties were at last resolved in 1960 when ownership of the historical collections 
was transferred from the company to the Trustees, who assumed full financial responsibility, 
although much of the administration was still carried out by the company as agents for the Trustees. 

The Museum and Library were thus firmly linked with the academic and charitable aims of the 
Wellcome Trust. The enhanced role oi the Libran' was recognised and Poynter (who now took 
Hewitt and Moorat's old title of Chief Librarian) ceased to be subordinate to Undenvood. 

The Librar)' was the first to benefit from the improved financial climate. During 1962 it was com- 
pletel}- transformed. New air-conditioned book stores in the basement made it possible to remove the 
unsightly stacks from the main floor ot the reading room and to redesign the whole room for readers' 


accommodation. At the south end, Warwick's monumental staircase was freed from the makeshift 
offices erected in 1945, and new offices were provided at the north end behind a screen decorated 
with a montage of the Vesalian muscle men. An additional area added on the third floor contained 
attractive rooms to house the Library's American and Oriental Collections, designed, under Poynter's 
direction, by Anthony Radcliffe. The Library was formally reopened by Lord Brain, the eminent neu- 
rologist and former President of the Royal College of Physicians, on 15 September 1962. 

The creation of a special American Collection resulted from the acquisition in 1 962 of Dr 
Francisco Guerra's collection of books and manuscripts relating to medicine in Latin America, partic- 
ularly Mexico. This became the nucleus of the new collection. The Library's existing holdings of 
medical Americana included a collection acquired from the Mexican medical historian and bibliogra- 
pher Dr Nicolas Leon in 1 927. The bias of the new collection was towards Latin America, but for the 
next ten years systematic efforts were made to raise the Library's North American holdings to a compa- 
rable standard. Dr Guerra was awarded a research fellowship to begin the cataloguing of the collection. 

The year 1962 also saw the publication of the first volumes both of the general catalogue of 
printed books (to 1640) and of Moorat's catalogue of Western manuscripts (to 1650). A research 
fellowship to compile a catalogue of the Arabic manuscripts was awarded to Dr A Z Iskandar. 

Improvements for the Museum began to be considered soon afterwards but could not be put 
into effect until additional space had been created by the removal of the Wellcome Laboratories 
of Tropical Medicine to Beckenham and of some commercial departments to Dartford. In the 
meantime the Museum's 'poor relation' image was intensified.*^- Underwood retired in March 
1964 and Poynter succeeded him as Director. 


Poynter's promotion brought a general restructuring for tiie iiistorical collections. The Museum 
and Library were reunited, with equal status (as had been adumbrated in Dr Daukes's time). 
Poynter's deputy, Eric Gaskell, became Librarian'^^ and the former scientific staff of the Museum 
formed an academic unit under the Director. New appointments were made: Dr Edwin Clarke 
was appointed Medical Historian and Mr J W Barber-Lomax Administrative Officer and 
Veterinary Historian. Dr Clarke, originally a neurologist, had served as Assistant Scientific 
Secretary to the Wellcome Trust in 1958-60 and had then spent three years as a visiting scholar 
in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins and Yale. Mr Barber-Lomax, a veterinary surgeon by 
training, was transferred from the Veterinary Division of the Wellcome Foundation. He became 
in effect Dr Poynter's deputy and was later designated Assistant Director. Dr Rowbottom, Dr 
Talbot and Dr Dixon carried on with their existing duties and research interests and Mr Lacaille 
had returned as a research fellow in 1 963 to continue his work with the prehistoric collections. 
An unexpected recruit to the staff was Dr Renate Burgess, a graduate in art history from Munich, 
who had left Germany for England in 1938. She came in answer to an advertisement for a typist, 
but it was realised that she could more usefully be employed in charge of the paintings and prints; 
in particular she took up the cataloguing of the engraved portraits where Earnshaw had left it. 

The Reading Room 
after recmistruction in 
1962, facing north, 
towards the Vesalian 

On his appointment in 1946 Dr Underwood had inherited a large museum which, in spite of 
considerable rationalisation, still retained much of Wellcome's concept of a museum of the 
human race with a substantial archaeological and ethnographic element. Throughout the 
retrenchments ot the next 18 years he had insisted on maintaining the integrit}' of the collection 
as he had received it, although with the passing years the likelihood of adequate display and stor- 


age facilities became increasingly remote. Poynter proposed a radical solution, arguing that much 
of the material was of only tangential relevance to the history of medicine and could with advan- 
tage be diverted to other museums. Accordingly, with the approval of the Trustees, prehistoric 
material was largely transferred to the British Museum, Egyptian material to the Petrie Museum 
at University College London (with unwanted objects to be distributed to other museums) and 
ethnographic material to the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr Lacaille and Dr Dixon 
accompanied their respective collections to their new homes. 

Temporary exhibitions continued to be held in the Museum. An exhibition on Chinese 
Medicine in 1 966 was successful enough to be sent on tour to the USA. The publication pro- 
gramme was expanded and the Library now became a publisher in its own right without the 
agency of a commercial firm.^"^ In 1966 it acquired its own scholarly journal, taking over from 
Dawsons the publication of Medical History, which had been edited by Poynter since Bishop's 
death in 196L Medical History also became the official organ of the newly founded British 
Society for the History of Medicine. 

Two further volumes of the Library catalogues appeared: the second volume of the general cat- 
alogue of printed books (1641-1850, A— E) in 1966 and Dr Iskandar's Catalogue of Arabic manu- 
scripts in medicine and science in 1967. A major accession to the Library at this time was a large 

J W Barher-Lomax, 
Assistant Director 

E Clarke, Medical 
Historian 1963- 1966, 
Director 1973-1979. 

The Reading Room, 
facing south towards the 
staircase, 1986. 

part of the Library of the Medical Society of London, deposited for an initial period of 20 years. 
The Society, founded in 1773, had in its early years amassed an outstanding library of great historic 
interest and including many rarities, but which had long ceased to be relevant to the interests of the 
Society's membership. This deposit was the Library's most important acquisition since Wellcome's 
death, containing some 200 manuscripts from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries and about 


1 1 000 printed books from the fifteenth century onwards. In 1984 the collection was purchased 
outright by the Wellcome Trust with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. 

The academic status of the Museum and Library had always been anomalous, as long as they 
were seen as dependencies of a pharmaceutical company, and the staff had long found it expedi- 
ent to maintain links with established academic bodies. Cooperation with the Royal Society of 
Medicine went back to Thompson's time. Malcolm had held a lectureship at the London School 
of Hygiene and Underwood had identified himself with the Department of the History and 
Philosophy of Science at University College. Poynter-made his academic base with the Society of 
Apothecaries, where a Faculty of the History of Medicine had been established in 1958 through 
the enthusiasm of Dr W S C Copeman. The Faculty instituted a series of annual eponymous lec- 
tures on historical topics and from 1960 organised a successful series of British Congresses on the 
History of Medicine. Poynter was the Faculty's first Secretary and edited the proceedings of the 
conferences for publication. 

The Trustees, however, as they turned their attention to the history of medicine, favoured the 
development of the subject within the university system. It had long been established as a univer- 
sity subject in continental Europe and the USA but had had only a token existence in British 
universities.^^ Accordingly in 1966 they established a Sub-Department of the History of 
Medicine, headed by Dr Clarke, within the Department of Anatomy at University College 
London. This was to be funded by the Trust for its first five years, then becoming the responsibil- 
ity of the College. The new department was regarded as an independent venture and no attempt 
was made to integrate the Museum and Library in its activities, although an honorary appoint- 
ment was provided for Dr Talbot. Nor was any link with the History of Science Department 
envisaged, in spite of Underwood's long and continuing involvement there. Accommodation in 
the College could not be made ready until 1968, and the new department remained in the 
Wellcome Building for its first two years, but on a separate floor from the Museum and Library. 

As more space in the Wellcome Building became available the Library and Museum were able 
to consolidate their position and improve their facilities. On the second floor they already occu- 
pied three of the four galleries and in 1 966 the company at last released the north gallery also; in 
the following year the area was remodelled to provide an entrance foyer, a seminar room,^^ 
seven readers' carrels and other offices. This gave the historical collections a much enhanced pres- 
ence, occupying the whole second floor and part of the third, with accommodation for long-term 
visiting scholars and facilities for meetings. This sense of identity was further strengthened in 
1968 by the adoption of the title Wellcome Institute of (later tor) the Histoiy of Medicine"^^' in 
place of the cumbersome Wellcome Historical Medical Museum and Library. 

New blood continued to be gradually infused into the academic team. J K Crellin, a pharma- 
cist, joined in 1966 and Dr Ruth Hodgkinson, a social historian, in 1968 following 


Dr Rowbottom's retirement. As Dr Clarke's departure had left the Institute without a medically 
qualified member of staff, Dr K D Keele, a practising physician and established historian,^ was 
appointed to a consultancy. 

In 1968 the long-awaited expansion of the Museum at last began. The whole first floor was 
gradually cleared of offices to be restored to its original form as four open galleries. Space was also 
provided for curatorial offices, conservation workshops and a large lecture room. The south 
gallery was the first to be opened in its refurbished state with an exhibition on Medicine and 
Surgery in the Great War, in November 1968, and the other galleries followed over the next two 
years. A professional Curator, C A Sizer, was appointed from the Liverpool Museum at the begin- 
ning of 1 969 and over the next three years he worked on the creation of a comprehensive display, 
basically on chronological lines, to fill the north, east and south galleries. The west gallery was 
held in reserve for temporary exhibitions. The new display was completed in 1972 and provided 
the first satisfactory general view of the Museum since its removal from Wigmore Street 40 years 
before. During the period of preparation temporary topical exhibitions continued to be held.^^ 
Concurrently with this display work, an intensified programme of cataloguing was initiated for 
the museum collections, largely under Dr Crellin's direction. 

An unwanted complication was provided in the summer of 1972 when changes at the 
Dartford Works made it necessary to transfer the Museum and Library stores to an industrial 
estate at Enfield. The change from company premises to an isolated site in a remote suburb was 
less than ideal, but it was some compensation to have all the material under a single roof. 

On the academic side, the work of outreach continued. The Society for the Social History of 
Medicine, founded in 1970, was initially based at the Institute. Dr Hodgkinson and Dr Poynter 
were both on the organising committee and Gordon Wilson, Secretary to the Institute since 
Barber-Lomax's retirement in 1969, acted as the first Secretary and Treasurer. Dr Hodgkinson 
became President in 1971. The connection with the Apothecaries was maintained: in 1970, on 
Dr Copeman's death, Dr Poynter succeeded to the chair of the Faculty of the History of 
Medicine and Dr Crellin became Secretary. A diploma in the history of medicine was instituted 
and the teaching was carried out at the Institute on Saturdays, with participation by the academic 
and Library staffs. Meanwhile the Trustees, following the successful launch of the University 
College Sub-Department, had established University Units of the History of Medicine at 
Cambridge (in October 1971) and Oxford (in July 1972). 

The climax of Poynter's directorship came in September 1972, when the 23rd International 
Congress of the History of Medicine was held in London under his presidency. The newly com- 
pleted Museum was a much admired feature and it was fitting that this conference came exactly 
50 years after the 3rd Congress, the last to be held in London, in which the Wellcome Museum 
had played a prominent part. 

CA Sizer, Curator 


The momentum continued into 1973, witii tiie publication both of the second part of 
Moorat's catalogue (manuscripts after 1650, in two volumes) and of Dr Burgess's catalogue of 
engraved portraits. Dr Poynter was due to retire in September and, as this date approached, it 
became apparent that, as in 1946, the Museum's progress was to be arrested, although this time it 
was to be a case of reculer pour mieux sauta: 

The Institute's development under Dr Poynter's directorship had been viewed by the Trustees 
with growing apprehension. The Institute had established itself as a centre of scholarly research 
and had at the same time been working hard to stimulate an interest in medical history among 
the medical profession and the general public. Scholarly research had been based primarily on the 
Library. The teaching for the Apothecaries' diploma had attracted practising doctors to the 
Institute, both as teachers and students, and the revitalisation of the Museum opened up a 
prospect of future development in various directions. The active publishing programme was per- 
forming a useful service but at a considerable cost. It was feared that the maintenance of the 
Institute's current level of activitj' might compromise the Trustees' primary responsibility for the 
funding of medical research and this view was confirmed by the Trust's Advisory Panel on the 
History of Medicine. The Panel recommended that the Institute should concentrate on the 
Library and research aspects and that the future of the Museum would be best served by transfer 
to a national museum. The substantial progress achieved with the Museum by Dr Poynter and 
Mr Sizcr had served to highlight the scale of the work still needed to remedy the effects of 20 
years of underfunding in such areas as conservation, cataloguing, publicity and display. 

Early in 1 973, therefore, it was announced that negotiations had begun for the transfer of the 
Museum to the Science Museum, leaving the Institute to be developed as a centre for research at 
postgraduate level, based on the Library and associated with the University of London. The 
implications of this decision were complex and several years of negotiation lay ahead before the 
new proposals could be implemented. Dr Poynter retired at the end of September and was suc- 
ceeded as Director by Dr Clarke, with Dr W F Bynum becoming head of the Sub-Department at 
University' College. At the end ot November Mr Gaskell also left to become Chief Librarian to 
the European Commission in Brussels; his deputy Eric Freeman succeeded him as Librarian. 
Earlier in the vear, the Library had witnessed a further break with the past as Mr Moorat took his 
second and final retirement at the age of" 8 1 , S# years after his first introduction to the Library. 

Dr Clarke's directorship was perforce largely a fallow period during which the Institute 
marked time while awaiting official clearance tor its change ot direction. Certain preliminary 
steps could be taken in advance. The Museum began to contract: one gallen,' was reclaimed by 
the Wellcome Foundation tor offices and another became a book store; the paintings, prints, 


drawings and photographs (later to be called the Iconographic Collections) were transferred to 
the Library, leaving sculptures, medals and other three-dimensional iconographic material with 
the Museum. The publishing programme was wound up, retaining only Medical History, Current 
Work and the catalogue series (the third volume of the Catalogue of Printed Books appeared early 
in 1977). Current U^or^ ceased to be distributed free and was placed on a subscription basis. 

The connection with the Society of Apothecaries died a natural death: outbreaks of terrorist 
activity in London in the early 1 970s made it impracticable, for security reasons, for the Institute 
to be used for teaching on Saturdays. The diploma course has continued to flourish elsewhere. Dr 
Poynter's academic team melted away: Dr Talbot, who had reached retiring age in 1971, remained 
as a research fellow, but Dr Hodgkinson departed to a chair in Canada in 1 974 and Dr Crellin to 
the USA in 1976. The Institute's academic life was, however, carried on by a core of younger 

scholars attached as research fellows, working in cooperation with Dr Bynum's department. * 

The period of uncertainty came to an end in 1976, when a ruling of the Court of Appeal 
cleared the way for the Museum transfer. At the same time a scheme of association between the 
Institute and University College regularised the Institute's teaching and research activities. 

Under the new scheme, the academic staff of the Institute became honorary lecturers at Univer- 
sity College, forming a joint Academic Unit with Dr Bynum and his staff. This provided a more for- 
mal basis for the attachment of graduate students to the Institute, and a one-year undergraduate 
course in the history of medicine for pre-clinical medical students was instituted as part of the 
College's intercalated BSc programme. A new team of scholars began to be recruited and an active 
academic programme of lectures, seminars and symposia was gradually developed, although this 
could not be fully implemented until space had been relea.sed through the departure of the Museum. 


The Museum transfer could not be accomplished at the stroke of a pen. The first step was the 
creation of a new department in the Science Museum to be called the Wellcome Museum of the 
History of Medicine. The artefacts were to be deposited as an indefinite loan, with the Trustees 
retaining legal ownership and funding the costs of the transfer over a five-year period. Thereafter 
the Museum would become the responsibility of the Science Museum. The Keeper of the new 
department, Dr Brian Bracegirdle, took up his duties at the beginning of 1977 and Mr Sizer left 
in June to become Director of the Reading Museum and Art Gallery. 

The transfer period lasted until 1982. For the first time in the Museum's history every object 
was examined and recatalogued. Estimates of the size of the collection had varied between 
100 000 and a million objects; the correct figure was found to be about 165 000,^* ranging from 
charms and amulets to statues, marble baths and mort-safes. The cataloguing work occupied a 
team of over 20, while a second team of similar size was engaged on the planning of the new dis- 
play. In spite of the successive campaigns of weeding, there was still a great deal of non-medical 
material, mostly ethnographic and archaeological. A third team therefore organised the allocation 
of this to other appropriate repositories. Some scientific apparatus went to other departments of 
the Science Museum.^' 

Throughout the transfer period a vestigial display was retained at the Institute, but temporary 
exhibitions began to be held at the Science Museum. The first of the two permanent galleries 
there was opened by Princess Alexandra in December 1980 (coinciding with the centenary cele- 
brations of the Wellcome Foundation Ltd) and the second a year later. These displays, which 
already incorporated much newly acquired material, were generally acclaimed and, without dis- 
paraging the work done under Dr Underwood's and Dr Poynter's directorships, it is fair to say 
that Sir Henry Wellcomc's vision was at last properly realised. His collections were accessible to a 
wider audience than had ever previously been possible and, a quarter of a century after the evic- 
tion of the Museum from the Wellcome Building, it could be said that the phoenix had risen 
from the ashes. 

The events of the past decade are too recent to be seen in proper perspective and only a few 
points can be mentioned here. For a fuller account the Institute's published annual reports from 
1 982-83 onwards can be consulted. 

The departure of the Museum released space and funds for the development of the Library and 
Academic Unit. Steps were taken to increase the exploitation of the Oriental Collections and a 
comprehensive cataloguing programme was initiated, involving specialists in many languages and 
cultures. The collection comprises some 1 1 000 manuscripts and 3000 printed books in 43 lan- 
guages utilising a wide variety of materials. A new initiative was the establishment in 1979 of a 
Contemporary Medical Archives Centre to collect and record the papers of twentieth-century 
British medical practitioners, scientists and institutions. In 1983 the appointment of a Curator of 


Western Manuscripts made possible a parallel coordinated approach to pre-twentieth-century 
manuscript material. Steps have also been taken to improve the utilisation of post- 1850 printed 
primary source material and to introduce modern automated systems to the Library's operations. 

Dr Clarke retired from the directorship at the end of 1979 so that the new initiatives for the 
Institute largely came to fruition under the aegis of Dr P O Williams, Director of the Wellcome 
Trust, who assumed the directorship of the Institute in 1981 with Mr Freeman as his Deputy. 
His term of office saw the final administrative integration of the staffs of the Trust and the 
Institute at the beginning of 1 982.^^ The academic programme benefited from the new regime 
and was able to develop to its full potential, attracting a large and enthusiastic clientele both of 
postgraduate students and of visitors from outside. A successful programme of exhibitions was 
instituted, based on the resources of the Library and Iconographic Collections but reinforced 
where appropriate by artefacts from the Science Museum and elsewhere. General cooperation 
with the Science Museum was maintained; the historic pharmacies were allowed to remain in the 
entrance hall for the time being and statues and other objects continued to embellish the 
Institute's public areas. 

Accommodation continued to be a problem. The company's occupancy of the Wellcome 
Building had never been entirely satisfactory: the building had not been designed for offices and 
the presence of the historical collections had always placed a constraint on space. There was a 
constant history of piecemeal adaptations, temporary rented overflow accommodation, and 
transfer of departments to other company sites. The possibility that the company might wish to 
abandon the Wellcome Building altogether seemed by the 1980s increasingly likely to materi- 
alise, leaving the Institute's future uncertain. In 1981, therefore, the Trustees took the initiative 
and purchased Bentley House, 200 Euston Road, the former office and warehouse of the 
Cambridge University Press, with the intention of re-housing the Institute there. This plan was 
abandoned in the autumn of 1983, and in the event it was the company which decided to move. 
For the time being both company and Institute remained in situ and Bentley House became a 
book store and the headquarters of the Wellcome Tropical Institute, successor to the Wellcome 
Museum of Medical Science, which had passed from the company to the Trustees. Dr Williams 
relinquished the directorship of the Institute in September 1983 and was succeeded as Honorary 
Director by Sir William Paton, Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford and a Wellcome Trustee. 

1986 was a momentous year. February saw the public flotation'''* of the Wellcome Foundation 
Ltd and also the transfer of the ownership of the Wellcome Building from the company to the 
Trust. The flotation dramatically transformed the financial situation of both the company and 
the Trust, the framework bequeathed by Sir Henry Wellcome having become something of 
a straitjacket. Then, beginning in July, the Wellcome Trust celebrated its jubilee with a 
programme of events lasting over the next 12 months. The Institute contributed a major 

P O Williams, Director 
of the Wellcojne Trust 
1965- 1991 and of the 
WMcome Institute 


Top: Bentley House, 
200 Euston Road. 
Above: Sir Willimn 
Paton, Honorary 
Director 1983-1987. 
Opposite page: 
The temporary reading 
room in Bentley House. 

exhibition entitled A Vision of History, displaying aspects of its work and the riches of its 
collections. The high point of the year was a soiree held at the Wellcome Building on 4 
December, attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, with special exhibits to show the 
varied research supported by the Trust. On 18 February 1987 a commemorative plaque for Sir 
Henry Wellcome was dedicated in St Paul's Cathedral and his ashes were buried in the church- 
yard. Mounteney Wellcome had died just nine days earlier at the age of 83. 

At the end of 1989 the company at last left the Wellcome Building for new premises at 160 
Euston Road and the Building was vacated for a much-needed refurbishment in order to house 
the offices of the Wellcome Trust and improved facilities for the Institute. 

For two and a half years, therefore, the Institute was fragmented. The Academic Unit was in 
the British Medical Association's building in Tavistock Square, while the Library was in Bentley 
House, where the handsome panelled showroom designed for the Cambridge University Press 
served as a temporar)' reading room. Research fellows were accommodated in the Rockefeller 
Building, University College Hospital Medical School. Under these difficult conditions the 
Institute's functions were carried on as normally as possible. Its administrative integration with 


the Wellcome Trust continued. Following the retirement of Sir William Paton in September 
1987 the directorship was left in abeyance and in the following year Mr Freeman, while remain- 
ing Librarian, became a Director of the Wellcome Trust with responsibility for the history of 
medicine. He now has general oversight of the Trust's grants programme in the subject, as well as 
the running of the Institute. 

At the time of writing, in October 1992, the return to the Wellcome Building is under way. In 
its new guise as the headquarters of the Wellcome Trust, the Building will provide a central 
forum for medical research policy, returning to a role consistent with Sir Henry Wellcome's 
intention. There will be a permanent exhibition on modern medical science. The historical 
Institute and its Library have spacious accommodation, with modernised storage for the 
collections in Bentley House, now linked to the Wellcome Building by a tunnel. A new academic 
initiative is a research group for the history of twentieth-century medicine. The Academic Unit 
continues with its programme of teaching and research; its high standing has been recognised in 
the University by the award of a personal chair to Dr Bynum. The return of the Institute to a 
single site and the prospect of closer liaison with the Wellcome Trust seems an appropriate point 
at which to close. 



1. Power's laboratory was at first known as the Wellcome 
Research Laboratories and did not add 'Chemical' to its 
tide until May 1898. See E M Tansey and R C E Milligan, 
'The early history of the Wellcome Research Laboratories, 
1894—1914', in J Liebenau, et al.. Pill peddlers: essays on 
the history of the pharmaceutical industry, Madison, WI, 
American Institute for the History of Pharmacy, 1990, 
pp. 91-106. 

2. The foundation of the Wellcome Physiological Research 
Laboratories was always backdated to 1894, leading to the 
persistent myth that Wellcome set up his first research 
unit on his own initiative and under his own name while 
Burroughs was still alive (Haggis p. 304, Macdonald p. 9, 
Turner p. 17). Power's laboratory was the first to carry 
Wellcome's name and to be created specifically for research. 
The title Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories 
was not officially adopted until May 1899. (See E M 
Tansey, 'The Wellcome Physiological Research 
Laboratories \%9A-\9i)A\ Medical H istory, 1989,33: l-4l, 
also E M Tansey and R C E Milligan, op. cit. note 1.) 

3. The books retained by Bennett were later acquired by 
the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. See P Needham 
(ed-), WilLiam Morris and the art of the hook. New York, 
Pierpont Morgan Library, 1976. 

4. This is abundantly clear from the notes made by Thompson 
and Wellcome in their copies of the sale catalogue. 

5- See M L Ettinghausen, Rare hooks and royal collectors. 
New York, Simon & Schuster, 1966, pp. GA-G7 . 

6. Burroughs Wellcome & Co. Circular to representatives, 

30 December 1903. 

7- H S Wellcome. Circular, Historical exhibition of rare 
and curious objects relating to medicine, chemistry, pharmacy 
and the allied sciences, [1904?] 

8. Wellcome, 'Evidence', para 4575 (see note 41). 

9. Haggis pp. 576-577. 

10. See Skinner (1986) for an analysis of Wellcome's view of 
medicine as essentially a branch of anthropology and its 
influence on his collecting policy and plans for the Museum. 

11. See Richard B Fisher, Syrie Maugham, London, 
Duckworth, 1978; Gerald McKnight, Tlx scandal of Syrie 
Maugham, London, W H Allen, 1980. 

1 2. See The Wellcome excavations in the Sudan. Vols I— II by 
F Addison. Vol. Ill by O G S Crawford and F Addison, 3 
vols, London, Oxford University Press for the Wellcome 
Trustees, 1949-51; R Mukherjee C R Rao and J C 
Trevor, The ancient inhabitants of Jebel Moya, Sudan, 
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1955; O G S 
Crawford, Said and done, the autobiography of an archaeolo- 
gist, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1955. 

13. Memorandum, C J S Thompson to E F Linstead, 
Snow Hill, 17 July 1912. 

14. '1 quite agree that Miss Hall [of the showroom staff] 
did spend more time in the Museum than was right, but 
her doing so must not be attributed to me. 1 fully under- 
stand that the Exhibition Room and the Museum have no 
relation whatever to each other.' (Miss M H Coles, 
Museum typist, to C J S Thompson, 8 November 1919.) 

15. American usage would account for this use of 'first 
floor'; a more plausible explanation may be that, prior to 
the Museum's opening, the normal entrance seems to have 
been not from the street but from Easley's Mews at the 
rear, at basement level. This was also the route to the 
Welbeck Palace Hotel, used for functions connected with 
the Museum. 

16. Report, C J S Thompson to H S Wellcome, 1 May 

17. *It is my idea and my intention that this Museum shall 
be a permanent institution.' Opening ceremony of the 
Historical Medical M useum. . .June 24, 1913, [1913?], p. 23. 

18. '. . .this Museum is not now restricted to the medical 
profession, and has been open to the public for some 
years.' (Letter, C J S Thompson to E Lovett, 15 March 

19. Dr W L Hildburgh's collection of Japanese charms, 
amulets and other objects of medical interest was exhibited 
at the M useum in May 1916 and the Edward Lovett collec- 
tion on the folklore of London in September of the same 
year. Objects from the Museum were exhibited at a meeting 
of the Historical Section of the Royal Society of Medicine 
on 3 December 1913 and a special visit to the Museum by 
the Section was arranged on 27 May 1914, Medical 
incunabula were exhibited at the Bibliographical Society on 
19 January 1914 to illustrate a talk by Sir William Osier. 
Material was also shown at the Medical Society of London 
on 1 May 1916 in connection with an address on 
'Shakespeare and medicine' by Sir StClair Thomson. 

20. Letter, J Y W MacAlister to C J S Thompson, 9 

January 1914. 

21. 'Sometimes 1 have wished that 1 had persisted in my 
original intention to postpone the opening of the Museum 
until the collections could be properly and completely 
studied, classified and catalogued, which plan 1 have rigidly 
pursued in respect to the Library.' (Letter, H S Wellcome 
to F H Garrison, published in Garrison (1930).) 

22. Poynter (1968, p. 412) refers to 'temporary closure dur- 
ing the first world war". In his unpublished report (1964) he 
states that 'The Museum . . .was closed throughout the first 
war, reopening ... at the end of 1918'. He was possibly mis- 
led by Haggis (p. 510): 'Soon after peace came in 1918 the 
Wellcome Historical Medical Museum resumed its activi- 
ties on a considerably larger scale than before'. 

23. C J S Thompson, The story of 'Hdmleigh' Auxiliary 
Military Hospital, H arrow-on-the-Hill, London, Bale & 
Danielsson, [1919?]. Thompson was appointed MBE for 
his work for the hospital. 

24. 'Snow Hill insist, very rightly, on my other secretarial . 
. . duties taking precedence over Library work, and yet the 
Library work has got to be done sometime. It is no unusu- 
al thing (as the men on night-duty know) for me to be 
working here up to a quarter to seven and later, and on 
two occasions I have had to put in the whole of Saturday 
afternoon . . .' (R H Kidd to C J S Thompson, 2 
February 1917.) His successor was similarly overburdened: 
'1 would point out that you are in error in surmising that 
Mrs Shawe has nothing else to do but the accounts . . . 
Her duties also consist in cataloguing all the books that 
come into the library . . . the examination of current liter- 
ature for Mr Wellcome , . . booking the loans to the 
Museum, and the whole of the work that was undertaken 
by Miss Butler when she was here'. (C J S Thompson to 


G Leslie Moore, Snow Hill, 20 November 1917.) 

25. 1. Sir D'A Power, (tr.), De arte phisicali et de cirnrgia 
of Master John Arderne, 1922. 

2. P Capparoni, Magistri Salernitani nondum cogniti, 

3. M H Spielmann, The iconography of Andreas 
Vesalim, 1925. 

4. J D Comrie, History of Scottish Medicine to 1860, 
1927 (2nd edn, 2 vols, 1932). 

The first three were published by Bale & Danielsson, the 
fourth by Bailliere, Tindall & Cox. History and lore of 
Cymric medicine by D F Fraser-Harris was advertised as in 
preparation but was never completed. 

26. 'Ever since you left, Mr Wellcome has kept me busy 
attending sales, and I have had absolutely no time to get 
on with my librarian's work. Some weeks I have had to go 
to a sale every day, and when I am not actually at the sale 
there Is all the viewing, looking up in our catalogue, and 
hunting up previous prices to be done ... 1 am afraid, 
therefore, that you will not find much progress when you 
return . . (C C Barnard to C J S Thompson, 8 March 

27. Sir William Osier, Incimabida medica, a study of the 
earliest printed medical books, [London], Bibliographical 
Soc, 1923. Contains Osier's presidential address to the 
Society, 1 9 January 1914 (see above, note 1 9) and a bibli- 
ography of medical books printed before 1481, edited by 
Victor Scholderer but based on material originally collect- 
ed by Prideaux. 

28. See H S Wellcome, The Story of Metlabahtla, London, 
Saxon, 1887; J Usher, William Duncan of Metlakahtla, 
Ottawa, National Museums of Canada, 1974; P Murray, 
Tlx devil and Mr Duncan, Victoria, BC, Sono Nis Press, 

29. See W D Foster, The Church Missionayy Society and 
modern medicine in Uganda, the life of Sir Albert Cook, 
KCMG, Newhaven, Newhaven Press for the author, 1978. 

30. This use of 'Conservator' as equivalent to 'Curator' is 
all but obsolete in current English usage, where the word 
has come to mean a specialist in conservation. The title 
was probably adopted from the Hunterian Museum of the 
Royal College of Surgeons, where it dates back to 1799 
and still survives as an honorary dignity. 

31. 'I am to take full charge as soon as I get hold of the 
ropes . . . Thompson the Curator will continue his work 
on the medical collection.' (L W G Malcolm to Dr 
Herbert Bolton, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 10 
October 1925. Bristol Museum Archives.) 

32. Thompson's obituaries {British Medical Journal^ 1943, 
2: 153; Lancet, 1943, 2: 108-109) state that he left the 
Museum in 1926; likewise L G Matthews, Pharmaceutical 
Journal, 1979, 223: 658—659. This error may originate in 
the company records, where his retirement date is shown as 
6 May 1 926, that is to say six months after his resignation. 
(Personal communication, K P Collins, 23 July 1980.) 

33. Both expressed their feelings in print after Wellcome's 
death: 'Thompson told me that he had been dismissed 
because he had published papers on . . . certain things in 
the Museum without first having obtained Sir Henry's 

permission. For doing a public sendee of such a kind, I 
would have rewarded a curator, not dismissed him.' (Sir 
Arthur Keith, An autobiography, London, Watts, 1950, 
p. 500.) 

'He [Wellcome] was arbitrary, and thought so little of 
those who had served him well and faithfully for many 
years that he would dismiss them almost at a moment's 
notice and seemingly without sufficient reason; in other 
words, he treated distinguished scientific men as though 
they were mere employees.' (Sir D'Arcy Power in Lives of 
the Felloivs of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 
1930-1951 London, the College, 1953, p. 833.) 

34. Handbook to the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 
1927, p.ll8. 

35. Singer had probably been doubtful of Wellcome's atti- 
tude since the failure of an attempt in 1921 to persuade 
him to endow a chair in the history of medicine at 
University College. The display in the Museum did not 
particularly interest him and he was concerned at the con- 
tinued closure of the Library, both on his own account 
and on that of his wife, Dorothea Waley Singer, who was 
conducting a sun^ey of medieval scientific manuscripts. He 
had found Thompson more accommodating than 
Malcolm: in 1919 a Persian anatomical manuscript had 
been deposited at the Bodleian for his use. Malcolm's 
views on Singer are set out in a report of 25 February 
1927 with appendix by Johnston-Saint and in a letter 
of 5 July 1927. (The former is heavily annotated by 
Wellcome.) See also Skinner (1986) p 388 note 5, and J 
Sheppard, 'Charles Joseph Singer ... papers in the 
Contemporary Medical Archives Centre', Medical History, 
1987, 31: 466-471 (especially p. 467 note 5). 

36. Moorat (1938) makes much of these disagreements. 
Differences of opinion on such matters as the staffing and 
purchasing policy of the Library can be documented, but 
Moorat's 'very considerable friction' and 'a dispute which 
was really impairing the efficiency of the Library' are per- 
haps too highly coloured. At the Royal College of 
Surgeons and Royal Society of Medicine Hewitt had expe- 
rienced genuinely difficult situations, and his son, himself 
a librarianj states 'I have always believed that he regarded 
the Wellcome appointment as probably his happiest*. 
(Personal communication, A R Hewitt, 21 April 1981.) 

37. Malcolm's reprimand to Mr Port's unfortunate prede- 
cessor underlines the pressures placed on the store staff 
and the scale of Mr Port's achievement in maintaining an 
efficient system: 'During the past three weeks I have made 
a critical examination of the stores ... At Crystal Palace, I 
find fabrics in the outbuilding, the boxes are dumped any 
way, some on their sides . . . the war pictures in the alley- 
way are not stored but dumped ... At Bushey Hill valu- 
able boxes are placed in the open without any battens 
under them. At Stanmore . . . the store in No. 4 is a per- 
fect disgrace and the whole contents . . . must be repacked. 
You have disregarded my . . . instructions that the arms 
should be kept in the groups as they were at High Street. 
You have not only packed them in a heap but other 
groups are placed in other parts of the store. The packing 
of the cases is very bad. Some are on their sides, some on 
their top and some of the numbers are not visible . . . The 
numbers should be visible and as far as possible placed in 
running order. Also groups should be placed together. 
This criticism applies also to Crystal Palace . . .' (L W G 
Malcolm to R Higginson, 3 July 1926.) 

38. Malcolm's proposals included an ambitious plan for a 
course of lectures by some 17 experts, which might have 


set a new standard tor professional education analogous to 
the situation in librarianship. 'This scheme would possibly 
lead to the development of a School, not necessarily in 
connection with the Museum, for the definite training of 
museum assistants and directors.' (Memorandum, L W G 
Malcolm to H S Wellcome, 22 October 1928.) The 
Museums Association instituted its diploma scheme a few 
years later. 

39. ' The factory was in a district unsurpassed tor sordid- 
ness and desolation . . . The premises where we had to 
work were practically unheated, and the winter of 
1928—29 was a particularly cold one; all of us were more 
or less ill . . . all the heating we had was an overhead 
slightly warm pipe, and the temperature often fell to 40 to 
45" Fahrenheit ... As our ignorance of [the] material was 
almost total, the cataloguing was largely guess-work . . / 
(Personal communication, J M Braunholtz (nee Raymont), 
29 July 1985.) 

40. The ban on publication was not actually written into 
the staff contracts. These merely forbade publication with- 
out permission, which was not unreasonable in a commercial 
and industrial context and did not prevent the publication of 
hundreds of papers from the research laboratories. In the 
Historical Museum permission was, in contrast, almost 
never granted. Lacaille was allowed to publish on archaeo- 
logical topics and johnston-Saint produced 'An outline of 
the history of medicine in India' (Sir George Birdwood 
Memorial Lecture), Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 
1929, 77: 843-870, but such exceptions proved the rule. 

41. Royal Commission on National Museums and Galleries, 
Oral evidence, memoranda and appendices to the final 
report, London, HMSO, 1929. Welcome's evidence. 14 
December 1928, occupies paras 4552—4632 on pp. 

42. A large section ot this was later published as 'The 
medical man as collector in the seventeenth and eigh- 
teenth centuries'. Medical Life, 1935. 42 (11): 566-620. 
Malcolm had by this time left Wellcomc's employ. 

43. P |ohnston-Saint, Travel diary, 1 Februar)' 1928. 

44. A W J Haggis, notes of interview with G E Pearson, 
12 December 1940. 

45. See letter from Wellcome to Malcolm, 4 July 1933, 
quoted by Turner (1980), p. 55. 

46. 'I feel that things have not been satisfactor)' for some 
time. There appears to be less and less prospect of improve- 
ment in salary, status or working conditions, and no 
opportunity to carry out congenial work.' (Letter of resig- 
nation, M G Rainsford-Hannay to L W G Malcolm. 27 
September 1934.) 

47. Although Miss Hannay (note 46 above) did not in the 
event rejoin the staff, the possibility was discussed on sev- 
eral occasions and her letters to Johnston-Saint show the 
change of mood: '1 could not possibly consider returning 
to the Wellcome Institute \sic\ on the condition under 
which 1 left it' (13 November 1935) and 'Since the 
Museum has become a living entity I should be so happy 
and proud to serve it' (28 November 1939). 

48. The W elk ome-M arston Archaeological Research 
Expedition to the Near East. Lachish (Tell ed Diuveir). Vol. 
I by H Torczyner, J L Starkey, etc. Vols H-IV by Olga 
Tufnell, etc., 4 vols in 6, London, Oxtord LIniversit\' Press 
for the Wellcome Trustees, 1938-58. 

49. Memoranda, S A J Moorat to P Johnston-Saint, 13 
and 14 July, 1937. Letter, P Johnston-Saint to T R 
Elliott, 1 4 July 1937. 

50. 'It appears to have been Sir Henry's intention that the 
Library should serve all the Departments of the Wellcome 
Research Institute \sic\. Actually books tor all the 
Departments are ordered through the Librarian, requisi- 
tions are sent to me for initialling, and all such works are 
included in my catalogue.' (Moorat, 1938.) Hewitt eight 
years earlier had seen no merit in these practices, which 
only served to delay the arrival of books in the departments 
where they were wanted. . . it is nor clear why books for 
other Institutions should go through our catalogue here at 
all. They have . , . other sources for obtaining books . . . 
which are not reported to us . . . Moreover, the books . . , 
are . . . practically lost to the Wellcome Research Library.* 
(C R Hewitt to L W G Malcolm, 7 February 1930.) 

As tor Wellcome's intentions, Johnston-Saint reported to 
the Trustees *I have a draft in Sir Henry's handwriting in 
which he makes it quite clear that the Librarian should be 
responsible in all matters to him (Sir Henry) through the 
Conservator'. (Memorandum on the Librarian's Report 
for August 1938, 7 September 1938.) 

51. Moorat (1938) p. 15. Gardner was already senior 
assistant when Poynter arrived as an unqualified junior, 
but they were only four months apart in age and had actu- 
ally been at school together. While Gardner had gone 
straight from school to librar)' training, Poynter had made 
a false start with two years of university and a period of 
prep-school teaching, but by 1938 he had more than 
recovered his position. 

52. While the Library was at Snow Hill it seems to have 
had little need for a formal title. An early ledger (1901) 
calls it 'The Wellcome Reference Library' and in R A 
Rye's The libraries of London, 2nd edn, 1910 it is listed as 
'The Wellcome Library'. After 1913 it became the Library 
of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum but in the 
late 1920s (perhaps at the time of the move to Willesden) 
it became ' I'he Wellcome Research Library', retaining this 
name until 194 1 . 

53. Air raids made it necessary to vacate the first floor of 
the Willesden premises. Moorat reported . . the Library 
offices are now on the ground floor . . . such heat as there 
is comes from pipes near the ceiling, the effect of which is 
barely perceptible at chair-level, and the bare stone floor 
adds to the discomfort. May 1 suggest . . . three electric 
stoves . . . [and] some old carpets or matting'. (S A J 
Moorat to P Johnston-Saint, 4 December 1940.) (cf. note 
39 above.) 

54. 'He [Herbert Marley, chairman of Dawsons] has the 
distinction of being probably the only man in history who 
bought one million books in one bid.' (R H Lewis, The 
book browser's guide^ Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 
1975, p. 62.) Moorat's assessment was 40 000 printed 
books and 1250 manuscripts, at least 15% in each catego- 
ry being rubbish. (Library report for May-June 1945, 2 
July 1945.) It seems unlikely, therefore, that Marley's 
coup rivalled the purchase of the Phillipps collection by 
the Robinson brothers in the same year. 

55. Dr Daukes was clearly finding Moorat's intransigence a 
strain on his patience. He wrote to his prospective successor: 
'. . . a temporary scheme has been drawn up for the Library 
so that it may be available for students from Januar\' 1st . , 
. I talked over the whole matter with Moorat, but, as you 
know, he regards the Librar}' premises as entirely unsuit- 


able and ... is reluctant to ("all in even with a temporan' 
scheme . . . Moorat objects that his offices are too small as 
he requites in these offices 6000-10 000 reference books 
for the Librarian 's and Assistant Librarian 's use. This seems 
to me to be nonsense as he will be worl-dng actually in the 
Library, with a reference library within easy reach. 
However, he is a librarian: I am not. It is a point upon 
which you are well able to adjudicate.' (S H Daukes to 
E A Underwood, 20 September 1945.) 

56. Moorat's final report, tor March 1946, does not men- 
tion readers but their presence as early as Januar)' is hinted 
at by Underwood: '[the Library] is actually being used at 
the present time by members of the medical and scientific 
profession' (Report for November— December 1945, 16 
January 1946) and 'The bay which is at present being used 
by members of the public' (Memorandum to A L Dean, 
on healing, 16 January 1946). 

57. 'The buildings occupy a flat-iron shaped corner site of 
considerable value, but the premises have now become 
inadequate to the needs of the business. It is the intention 
of the Board ... to acquire or to build new offices . . 5., 
somewhere near the Wellcome Research Institution.) 
(Wellcome Foundation Ltd, Organisation^ February 1941, 
p. 13.) 

58. J F Fulton, 'News from abroad. The Wellcome 
Historical Medical Museum', Bulletin of the History of 
Medicine, 1948, 22: 97-98. 

59. Gardner spent the rest of his life as an assistant in East 
Ham Public Library. 

60. 1 . C Singer and C Rabin, A prelude to modern science, 
being a discussion of the history, sources and circumstances of 
the 'Tabulae Anatomic ae Sex' of Vesalius, 1946. 

2. B M Duncum, The development of inhalation 

anaesthesia, 1947. 

3. J H G Grattan and C Singer, Anglo-Saxon magic 
and medicine, 1952. 

4. C Singer, Vesalius on the human brain, 1952. 

5. F N L Poynter, A catalogue of incunabula in the 
Wellcome Historical Medical Librayy, 1954. 

6. A D Lacaille, The Stone Age in Scotland, 1954. 

7. C Singer, Galen on anatomical procedures, 1956. 

8. C Wall, H C Cameron and E A Underwood, A 
history of the Worshipfid Society of Apothecaries of London, 
Vol.1: 1617-1815, 1963. 

The first was published by Cambridge University Press, 
the remainder by Oxford University Press. 

61. At the beginning of 1946 the professional staff of the 
Museum stood at 12, including the Director, and of the 
Library at four. By the end of 1948 these numbers had 
been reduced to six and two, respectively. Subsequently, 
while the number of librarians had risen steadily from 
three in 1951 to six by 1958, the scientific staff of the 
Museum had remained static and had even declined after 
Earnshaw's departure in 1957. 

62. Poynter's contrast between the newly refurbished 
Library and the 'dirt and disorder and decay' of the 
Museum (Report of 10 April 1964) is a little unfair to 

Under^vood. The same charge could have been levelled at 
the LibrarT,' prior to 1962. 

63. Although Poynter ceased to use the title ot Chief 
Librarian he retained a close control over the Library 
which, as Librarian, he would only have tolerated reluc- 
tantly from the Director. 

64. Earlier publications had been handled by Bale & 
Danielsson, Bailliere, Tindall & Cox, Cambridge 
University Press and, most recently, Oxford University 
Press (cf. notes 25 and 60 above). 

65. Singer's appointment at University College London 
(1920—42) has already been mentioned. A part-time lec- 
tureship had been held at Edinburgh University by J D 
Comrie (1908-39) and D J Guthrie (1945-56) and 
Wellcome had founded a prize medal there in 1912 for an 
annual essay on a medico-historical topic. 

66. The seminar room was originally dedicated to the 
memory of Sir Henry Wellcome and Sir William Osier as 
'The Wellcome-Osler Room' (invariably shortened in 
practice to 'The Osier Room'). 

67. The preposition was changed to 'for' in 1973. 

68. 'Vision and the Eye' (1969), 'Rehabilitation' (1969), 
'Posology and the Medicine Bottle' (1970), 'The History 
of Cardiology' (1970—71), 'Dickens and Medicine' 

69. See J K Crellin, J R Scott and D A Hutton, 
'Pharmaceutical history and its sources in the Wellcome 
collections', Medical Hi stoty, 1967, 11: 215-227; 1969. 
13: 51-67; 1970, 14: 132-153; 1972, 16: 81-85; 1973, 
17: 266-287. J K Crellin, Catalogue of medical ceramics: 
English and Dutch, London, Wellcome Institute, 1969. 
J K Crellin and J R Scott, Glass and British pharmacy 
1600-1900, London, Wellcome Institute, 1972. 

70. See Burnett and Wright (1982). 

71. See Russell (1986). 

72. Dr Clarke's retirement was following by an interreg- 
num: Mr Freeman served as Acting Head from January to 
September 1980, and from October 1980 to August 1981 
Professor A R Hall of Imperial College acted as Chairman 
of a Directing Committee. 

73. Like all matters arising from the interpretation of 
Wellcome's will, the legal niceties surrounding the status 
of the Trust as employers and the transfer of staff proved 
far from straightforward and were masterfully disentangled 
by Harry Mendelson, former Personnel •irector of the 
Wellcome Foundation Ltd. 

74. 21% of the Trust's shareholding was sold and 5^ of 
new share capital was created. A new holding company, 
Wellcome pic, was established for the issue of the shares 
but the company continues to trade as the Wellcome 
Foundation Ltd. A fiirther sale of shares in July 1992 has 
left the Trust's holding at about 40%. 

Additional Note 

As oral tradition fades, it is appropriate to record the follow- 
ing pronunciations: 

Burstein -stine, not -steen 
Daukes to rhyme with hawks 


Lacaillc to rhyme with black eye 

Moorat stressed on the second syllable 

Mounteney first e silent 

Prideaux to rhyme with widow 

Sambon stressed on the second syllable, with the 
n sounded 

Sine! short i, stressed on second syllable 


A. Unpublished 

The archives of the Institute, which include Sir Henry 
Wellcome's personal papers, are a rich source of informa- 
tion on many topics, still to be fully exploited. The 
Museum archives up to 1921 were arranged in their pre- 
sent order by A L Dean in 1956—59, with abstracts for 
some sections and a subject index for references to 
Museum acquisitions. In a few cases these abstracts pre- 
serve a record of documents no longer extant. Relevant 
archival material is also held by the Wellcome Foundation 
Ltd and the Wellcome Trust. 

Progress is to a large extent summarised in various series of 
reports. There are also several unpublished historical type- 
scripts and reminiscences by serving or former members of 
staff. Only those presented as formal reports are noted here. 

Other Reports 

Johnston-Saint's diaries of his collecting tours from 1927 
to 1935 constitute a distinct series. Regular reports by 
other senior staffwere started in 1 929- 

Unpublished Historical Accounts 

A L Dean, The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 
Notes on certain material presented, lent, or purchased 
together with historical notes and other information, abstract- 
ed Jrom the Wellcome papers, reports by C J S Thompson, 
1904—1921, and early correspondence, 1903— 1921 > 
Typescript, ed. by E A Underwood, 3 vols, 1 959. 

A W J Haggis, The life and ivork of Sir Henry Wellcome, 
Typescript, 2 vols, 1 942. 

P Johnston-Saint, A brief resumi of the history of the HMM 
Stores and of some of the dijficulties encountered in the devel- 
opment of the Museum, Typescript, 23 February 1943. 

S A J Moorat, 77*? Wellcome Research Library (Appendix to 
Library Report for June 1938), Typescript, 28 June 1938. 

F N L Poynter, A brief outline of the development of the 
Historical Medical Museum, Typescript, 6 February 1964. 


Regular periodic reports on the work of the Museum, and 
later of the Institute, have been submitted to the Trust 
since 1 937. The only annual report produced in Sir Henry 
Wellcome's lifetime is for the year 1927. Since the year 
1982/83 the Institute's annual report has been published. 

Reports to Sir Henry Wellcome 

These were produced on an ad hoc basis and, although 
numerous and extremely informative, are neither regular 
nor continuous. There are large gaps for periods when 
Wellcome was in direct contact with the Museum. Formal 
reports begin in 1904, but correspondence between 
Wellcome and C J S Thompson goes back to 1896. 

Reports to the Director-in- Chief 

Monthly reports by the Curator were instituted in 1915 
but, after a n initial flush o f enthusiasm, these are generally 
perfunctory and eventually decline into a statistical return 

supplied by the Secretary. ^ 

Library Reports 

The earliest extant annual reports are for the year ending 
30 April 1924 and for 1927. From September 1925 
onwards occasional progress reports are appended to the 
Conservator's reports to Wellcome. A monthly statistical 
report was initiated in 1929 and annual reports have been 
produced since 1932. 

B. Published Sources 


J Burnett and D Wright, 'Practical problems in catalogu- 
ing the Wellcome collection', Museums Journal, 1982, 82 
(2): 86-88. 

S H Daukes, 'The Historical Medical Museum, its future 
and possibilities'. Museums Journal, 1944, 44: 17—21. 

S H Daukes, 'Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome', Dictionary 
of National Biography 1 93 1 -1 940, London, Oxford 
University Press, 1949, pp. 894-895. 

F H Garrison, 'A medical tour in Europe', Bidletin of the 
New York Academy of Medicine^ 1930, 6: 243-264 (also in 
his Contributions to the history of medicine. New York, 
Hafner, 1966, pp. 649-670). 

A R Hall and B A Bembridge, Physic and philanthropy, a 
history of the Wellcome Trust 1936-1986, Cambridge, 
Cambridge University Press, 1986. 

G Macdonald, In pursuit of excellence, one hundred years 
Wellcome 1880-1980, London, Wellcome Foundation 
Ltd, 1980 (repr. 1983). 

T Mahoney, The merchants of life, an account of the 
American pharmaceutical industry. New York, Harper & 
Brothers, 1959, ch. 7, Burroughs Wellcome & Co., pp. 

R C E Milligan, 'Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome', in D J 
Jeremy (ed.). Dictionary of Business Biography, Vol. 5) 
London, Butterworths, 1986, pp. 728-736. 


Sir D'A Power, 'Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome', in Sir Published Exhibition Catalogues to 1989 

D'A Power and W R LeFanu, Lives of the Fellows of the 
Royal College of Surgeons of England 1930—1951, London, 
the College, 1953, pp. 831-833. 

F N L Poynrer, 'The Wellcome Historical Medical 
Library', Book Collector, 1955, 4: 285-291. 

F N L Poynter, 'The Wellcome Historical Medical 
Library', Indian Journal of the History of Medicine, 1956, 1 
(2): 1-5. 

F N L Poynter, Bibliography, some achievements and 
prospects, Berkeley & Los Angeles, University of 
California, 1961. (Reminiscences, pp. 1-3.) 

F N L Poynter, 'The Wellcome Historical IVleclical 
Museum and Library and its services to research in the his- 
tory of medicine', Verhandlungen des XX. Intemationalen 
Kon^esses jiir Geschichte der Medizin, Berlin, 22— 27 August 
1966, Hildesheim, G Olms, 1968, pp. 41 1^16. 

G Russell, 'The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum's 
dispersal of non-medical material, 1936-1983', Museums 
Journal, 1986, 86: (Suppl.), S1-S36. 

C A Sizer, 'The Museum of the Wellcome Institute of the 
History of Medicine', Museums Journal, 1970, 70: 13—16. 

G M Skinner, 'Sir Henry Wellcome's museum for the 
science of history', Medical History, 1986, 30: 383-418. 

J Symons, 'The development of the Wellcome collections', 
Museum Ethno^aphers Group Newsletter, 1987, 20: 1—20. 

J Symons, 'Sir Henry Wellcome and the Wellcome 
Building', Thirties Society J ournal, 1987,6: 8—15. 

H Turner, Hemy Wellcome, the man, his collection and his 
, London, Wellcome Trust & Heinemann, 1980. 

H S Wellcome, 'Evidence', in Great Britain, Royal 
Commission on National Museums and Galleries, Oral 
evidence, memoranda and appendices to the final report, 
London, HMSO, 1929. pp. 103-109 (paras 4552^632). 

Wellcome Foundation Ltd, Spanish influence on the 
prop-ess of medical science, with an account of the Wellcome 
Research Institution and the ajfiliated research laboratories 
and museums (Tenth International Cmgress of the History of 
Medicine, Madrid ), London, Wellcome Foundation Ltd, 
1935 (also in French, Spanish and Italian). 

Wellcome Foundation Ltd, Sir Henry Wellcome, a 
biographical memoir, London, Wellcome Foundation Ltd, 

Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, Annual 
Repori 1982/83- , London, the Institute, 1 984-. 

Wellcome Trust, First report covering the period 1937—1956, 
and later reports (2nd to 17th biennial, then annual), 
London, Wellcome Trust, 1957— 

C M Wenyon, 'Henry Solomon Wellcome', Obituary 
Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1938, 2 (6): 


Handbook of the Historical Medical Museum organised by 
Henry S Wellcome (XVIIth International Congress of 
Medicine) (1913) (also in French). 

Handbook to the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum 
(1914, 1920, 1927). 

Guide to the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum [1929]: 

Lister Centenary Exhibition (1927). 

Henry Hill Hickman Centenary Exhibition (1930). 

Cinchona Tercentenary Celebration and Exhibition (1930). 

The Bicentenary of Edward Jenner ( 1 949) . 

Medicine in 1850 {\950). 

Prehistoric Man in H ealth and Sickness (1951). 
The History of Pharmacy (1951). 

The Medicine of the Aboriginal Peoples in the British 
Commonwealth (1952). 

The Story of Pharmacy (1955). 

Psychiatry and Mental Health in Britain (1963). 


Chinese Medicine ( 1 966) . 

Medicine and Surgery in the Great War, 1914-1918 (1968). 
The History ofCardiolog^f ( 1 970). 
Dickens and Medicine (1970). 

High Matter, Dark Language: the philosophy of Robert 


Morbid Cravings: the emergence of addiction (1984). 

Books fi'om the Library of the Medical Society of London ( 1 985). 

The Pest Anatomized: five centuries of plague in Western 
Europe {1985). 

Islamic Science: crossroad ofcidtures ( 1 985). 
Huguenots in the Medical World (1985). 
Body and Mind in Tibetan Medicine {\ 986). 
A Vision of Histojy (1986). 

No Laughing M atter: historical aspects of anaesthesia ( 1 987) . 
A Mirror fo r Medicine ( 1 987) . 

'Health for All': the origins of the National Health Service, 
1848-1948 {1988). 

Hygieia's Handmaids: women, health and healing {\988). 

'The Solid Nucleus and its Gaseous Wrappings': historical 

aspects of teaching physiology (1989). 

A Mirror for Medicine II { 1 989). 


Descriptive Booklets 

The Wellcome Historical Medical Library, a brief account of 
its history, scope and purpose. 1950, 1954. 

Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, a brief 
description. 1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1993. 

The South Asian Collections, by D Wujastyk, 1 984; 2nd 
edn, 1988. 

The Oriental Collections, by N Allan, 1 984. 

The American Collections, by R M Price, 1 986. 

The Contemporary Medical Archives Centre, by J Sheppard, 

The Icono^aphic Collections, by W Schupbach, 1989. 

A guide to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre, by 
J Sheppard and L Hall, 1991. 

Published Library Catalogues 

A catalogue of incunabula, by F N L Poynter, 1 954. 

A catalogue of printed books. Vol 1: Books printed before 
1641, by F N L Poynter, 1 962. Vols 2-3: Books printed 
from 1641 to 1850, A-L, by H R Denham, 1966-76. Vol. 
4: M—R, in preparation. 

Catalogue of western manuscripts on medicine and science, by 

S A J Moorat. 2 vols in 3, 1962-73. 

A catalogue of Arabic manuscripts on medicine and science, 
by A Z Iskandar, 1967. 

Portraits of doctors and scientists, by R Burgess, 1973. 

Subject catalogue of the history of medicine and related sciences, 
18 vols, Munich, Kraus International Publications, 1980. 

Contemporary Medical Archives Centre. Consolidated acces- 
sions list, 1982; 2nd edn, 1985. 

An annotated catalogue of medical Americana. Books and 
printed dffcttments 1557— 1821 from Latin America and tlye 

Caribbean Islatids and manuscripts from the Americas 

1575-1927, by R M Price, 1983. 

A handlist of the Sanskrit and Prakrit Mamtscripts, Yd. 1, 
by D Wujastyk, 1985. 

A descriptive and analytical catalogue of Persian manuscripts, 
by F Keshavarz, 1986. 

A supplementary catalogue of western manuscripts. First 
cumulative supplement, by R Palmer, 1989. 

Catalogue of Tibetan mamtscripts and xylographs and cata- 
logue of thankas, banners and other paintings and draivings, 
by M Winder, 1989. 

Catalogue of Chinese books, by H Walravens (in press). 

W R Dawson, Manuscripta medica, a descriptive catalogue 
of the inanuscripts in the Library of the Medical Society of 
London, London, John Bale & Danielsson tor the Society, 

N R Ker, Medieval manuscripts in British libraries. I. 
London. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1969. (Medical Society 
of London, pp. 148—152; Wellcome Historical Medical 
Library, pp. 393-401.) 

S Streicyn, 'Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts of the 
Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine', Bidletin 
of the School of Oriental dr African Studies, 1972, 35 (1): 


M C Ricklefs and P Voorhoeve, Indonesian manuscripts 
in Great Britain, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1977. 
(Wellcome Institute, Batak MSS, p. 25.) 

M C Ricklefs and P Voorhoeve, 'Indonesian manuscripts 
in Great Britain: addenda et corrigenda', Bulletin of the 
School of Oriental & African Stttdies, 1982, 45 (2): 
300-322. (Wellcome Institute, Batak MSS, pp. 303-305; 
Javanese MSS, pp. 308-309; Malay MSS, pp. 312-315.) 

C R Bawden, 'A volume of the Kanjur in Manchu 
translation in the Library of the Wellcome Institute', 
Zentraksiatische Sttidien, 1981, 14 (2): 65-84. 

R F Ellen, M B Hooker and A C Milner, 'The Hervey 
Malay Collection in the Wellcome Institute', Journal of 
the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1981, 54 

(1) : 82-92. 

N Allan, 'Catalogue of Hebrew manuscripts in the 
Wellcome Institute', Journal of Semitic Studies, 1982, 27 

(2) : 193-220. 

V Nersessian, '[Catalogue of the Armenian manuscripts in 
the Wellcome Institute, London]' [Armenian], Banher 
Matenadarani, 1986, 15: 317-.338. 

N Allan, 'Syriac fragments in the Wellcome Institute 
\Ji\mry , Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1987: 43—47. 

S Quraishi, 'Catalogue of Urdu, Punjabi and Kashmiri 
manuscripts in the Wellcome Institute Library, London', 
Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, 1987, 24 (3): 

S Gunasingam, 'Catalogue of Tamil Manuscripts in the 
Library of the Wellcome Institute', Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society, 1990:359-369. 



Directors of the Wellcome Historical Medical 
Museum and of the Wellcome Institute for the 
History of Medicine. 

1913-1936 Sir Henn- S Wellcome, LLD, DSc, FRS 
(Founder and Director) 

1913-1925 C J S 'rhompson, MBE, PhD, MPS 


1925-1934 L W G Malcolm, MSc, PhD, FRSH 

1934-1947 P J Johnston-Saint, MA, FRSE 

1941-1945 S H Daukes, OBF., MD 

1 946-1 964 E A Underwood, iMD, FRCP 

1 964-1 973 F N L Poynter, BA, PhD, Hon MD, FLA 

1 973-1979 E Clarke, MD, FRCP 

1980- 1981 Prof. A R Hall, MA, LittD, FBA 


1981- 1983 P O Williams, MB, FRCP 

1983-1987 Prof. Sir William Paton,CBE, DM, 
FRCP, FRS (Honorary Director) 

Secretaries and other Senior Staff 

1913-1914 F G Shirreff, MA 

1915- 1916 A E H Swinstead. BA 
1916 H I Powell, BA 
1916 R Dykes 

1916- 1917 RH Kidd 

1917- 1919 MrsJShawe 

1 9 1 9- 1 920 J B C:ooper-Reade 

1 920- 1 934 P J Johnston-Saint, MA, FRSE 

(Foreign Secretary 1928—34) 

1928-1954 ALDean, FCIS 

1941-1946 A WJ Haggis, FLS 

(Assistant Conservator) 

1 964- 1 969 J W Barber-Lomax, B VSc. MRCVS 
(Assistant Director) 

1969-1982 G Wilson, FCIS 

1 982-1990 S E Emberton, MBIM (Administrator) 

Wellcome Trust 

Director (History of Medicine) 


EJ Freeman, BA, ALA 

Wellcome Institute Museum 

1 969-1 977 C A Sizer, BSc, FGS, FMA 

Head of Academic Unit 

1 977- W F Bynum, MD, PhD, MRCP 


1900-1913 CJSThompson, PhD, MPS 

1913-1918 TWHuck, FLA 

1919-1921 C C Barnard, MLA (Assistant Librarian) 

1921-1925 W R B Prideaux, BA, FLA 

1 925-1 93 1 C R Hewitt, F LA (Chief Librarian) 

1 932-1946 S A J Moorat, MA, DipLib 
(Chief Librarian) 

1946-1953 WJ Bishop, FLA 

1954-1964 F N L Poynter, BA, PhD, FLA 
(Chief Librarian 1961-64) 

1 964-1 973 E Gaskell, BA, ALA 

1 973- E J Freeman, BA, ALA 

(Deputy Director 1981-88) 


Name Index 

Alexandra, HRH Princess 50 
Alfonso XITI, King of Spain 23 
Amoruso, A 7, 10, 13-14 
Austin, Sir Thomas 39 

Balfour, Sir Andrew 8, 12-13, 19 

Barber^Lomax, J W 44-45, 47, 61 

Barnard, C 16,55,61 

Barnardo, Syrie see Maugham, S 

Barnardo, T 6 

Bennett, R 4, 54 

Bennett, TRG 31-32, 38, 

Bishop, WJ 34,38-40,45,61 

Blackman, W 24 

Board, E 11 

Bolton, H 55 

Bourne, H C 5 

Bracegirdle, B 50 

Brain, Lord 43 

Braunholtz, J 56 

Bullock, LC 28 

Burgess, R 44, 48, 

Burroughs, S M 2-3 

Burstein, S R 21, 41, 57 

Bynum, WF 48-49, 53,61 

Cameron, H C 57 
Capparoni, P 55 
Carline, GR 13-14 
Chiang, Yee 31 
Clarke, E 44-48, 51, 57, 61 
Comrie, J D 55, 57 
Cook, Sir Albert 17, 55 
Cooper-Reade, J B 6 1 
Copeman, W S C 46-47 
Crellin, J K 46-47, 49, 57 

Dale, Sir Henry 28, 30, 32, 37 

Darmstaedrer, E 25 

Daukes, S H 32-35, 44, 56-58, 61 

Davidson, D Pender 20, 27, 41 

Dean, A L 21,41, 57-58, 61 

Debacq, L 16 

Dixon, DM 41,44-45 

Dowson, W 3 

Duncan, W 17,55 

Duncum, B M 57 

Dykes, R 61 

Earnshaw, C A 41, 44, 57 
Edinburgh, HRH Duke of 52 
Elizabeth II, HM Queen 52 
Elliott, T R 28, 30, 56 
Emberton, S E 61 
Ena, C^ueen of Spain 23 
Ettinghausen, ML 5, 54 

Eraser-Harris, D F 55 ^ 
Freeman, E J 48, 51, 53, 57, 61 
Fulton, J F 37, 57 

Gardner, S B 25, 30, 33-34, 56-57 

Garrison, F H 54, 58 

Gaskcll, E 44,48-49,61 

Georgievsky, C 24 

G rattan, J H G 57 

Guerra, F 43 

Guthrie, D J 57 

Haggis, A WJ 22, 32-33, 35, 41, 54, 56, 58, 

Hall, A R 1, 57-58, 61 
Hannay, M G R 56 

Hewitt, C R 17, 19-21, 24-25, 42, 55-56, 61 

Hickman, H H 10-11, 22 

Higginson, R 55 

Hildburgh, W 54 

Hodgkinson, R 46-47, 49 

Hooper, D 31 

Huck, T W 13-14, 16,61 

Hudson Lyall, G H 28 

Iskandar, A Z 43, 45 

Jeffreys, M D W 24 

Jenner, E 10-11,15 

Johnston-Saint, P 15, 23, 27-32, 38, 42, 

55-56, 58,61 

Keele, K D 47 
Keith, Sir Arthur 18, 55 
Kemp, P 24 
Kidd,R 14,54,61 
Kihn, W L 24 

Lacailie, AD 21,41, 44-45, 56-58 

Lander, K 15 

Leon, N 43 

Linstcad, E F 54 

Lister, Lord 1 9 

Lovett, E 54 

MacAJister, J Y W 14, 54 

Malcolm, L W G 17-22, 27, 46, 55-56, 61 

Mall, P 7, 15-16 

Mariey, H 56 

Mary, HM Queen 1 5 

Maugham, Syrie 6, 54 

Maugham, W Somerset 6 

Mendelson, H 57 

Mockler, FJ 10, 15 

Moorat,SAJ 16,19,21,24-25,29-30, 
32-34, 39, 42-43, 48-49, 55-58, 61 


Moore, G L 55 
Moran, Lord and Lady 35—36 
Morris, W 4-5, 19 
Moynihan, Lord 25 

Neuburger, M 31-32,38 

Osier, Sir William 16, 54-55, 57 

Paton, Sir William 51-53,61 
Payne, J F 10, 19 
Pearson, GE 17,26,29-31,56 
Port, H 13,20,38,55 

Powell, H J 61 

Power, Sir D'Arcy 18,31,54-55,59 
Power, F B 3, 54 

Poynter, F N L 30, 32, 34, 39-40, 42-50, 54, 

Price, M 28 

Prideaux, W R B 16, 19, 25, 55, 58, 61 

Rabin, C 57 
RadclifFe, A 43 
Raghavan, V 40 

Rainsford-Hannay, M G seeHinmy, M G R 
Raymont, J wBraunholtz, J 
Rowbottom, M 35,41,44,47 

Sambon, LW 7, 14, 58 
Samson, O 31 
Scholderer, V 55 
Shawe,J 54,61 
Shirreff, FG 13-14,61 
Sine!, J W 15,58 
Singer, C 20,31,34,55,57 
Singer, DW 55 
Sizer, CA 47-48, 5t, 59,61 
Spielmann, M H 55 
Srarkey, J L 29, 56 
Stow, H 5, 13 
Swinstead, A E H 61 

Talbot, CH 41,44,46,49 
Thompson.CJS 3-5,7-8, 10, 12-15, 17-19, 
21,46, 54-55, 58,61 
Thomson, Sir StClair 54 
Thornton, J L 23 
Tufnell, O 29, 56 

Underwood, E A 34-37, 40-44, 46, 50, 57, 61 
Uribe, J S 9 

Wachsmann, KP 41 
Wall, C 57 
Walzer, R 31 
Warwick, S 25-26,43 
Wellcome, Sir Henry passim 

Wellcome, Henr\' Mounteney 6, 28, 52, 58 
Wellcome, Syrie see Maugham, S 
Wenyon, CM 19, 59 
Williams, PO 51,61 
Wilson, G 47,61 


Copies of this book are available from: 
The Wellcome Institute for the Histor)' of Medicine 
183 Euston Rd London NWl 2BE 
Telephone: 071 611 8888 

Design and Production: 
The Wellcome Trust Publishing Department 

Printed by: 
Clement & Foster 

Published by: 
The Wellcome Trust, 
183 Euston Rd, London NWl 2BE 

ISBN 1 869835 34 4 

First published 1993 
© The Trustee of the Wellcome Trust, London 1993 

Fhe Wellcome Trust is a registered charity, 
no. 210183 

All rights resen-ed. No part of this publication may be 
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, 
in any shape or form or by any means electronic, 
mechanical, photocopying, recording or othem ise 
without the prior permission of the Wellcome Trust.